Bayern Munich are clear favourites to sign the Hearts teenager Aaron Hickey, although they have yet to agree a deal with the Edinburgh club.
The German champions are proposing a lucrative contract and a place in their reserve side after Hickey toured their facilities earlier this month.
They will put a formal transfer offer in writing to Hearts in the coming days with the intention of beating Celtic, Lyon, Bologna and English clubs to his signature.
Hearts expect to lose the 18-year-old who they value at a minimum £1.5million with less than a year left on his contract.
He visited Bologna and Bayern recently whilst considering his future but was overwhelmed by the surroundings in Munich. That is now his preferred destination and Bologna have been informed.
Terms have been discussed and verbally agreed with Bayern but Hickey must now wait on Hearts accepting a transfer offer.
Celtic submitted a bid for him earlier in the summer which was in excess of £400,000. After their 30 per cent sell-on fee was deducted, Hearts would have been left with just £300,000.
Celtic inserted the sell-on clause when the young full-back left Parkhead for Tynecastle Park back in 2018.
They remain interested but, along with several other teams, must now wait to see if the proposed move to Bayern reaches completion.
Hickey made 30 appearances for Hearts last season after playing as a 16-year-old in the 2019 Scottish Cup final. He is also a Scotland Under-17 internationalist.
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