Bologna director reveals how Italians plan to use Aaron Hickey if they agree a deal with Hearts

Clubs negotiating over fee for coveted teenager

Aaron Hickey is wanted as a deputy left-back by Bologna.
Aaron Hickey is wanted as a deputy left-back by Bologna.

Bologna intend to “do everything possible” to sign Aaron Hickey from Hearts and use him as deputy for first-choice left-back Mitchell Dijks.

Walter Sabatini, who works in a technical director capacity for the Italians and the Canadian club Montreal Impact, spoke today as negotiations continue over the 18-year-old.

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Bologna lodged a £1.3million transfer offer last week but Hearts want a higher amount given Celtic are due 30 per cent from their sell-on clause.

Hickey’s contract expires next May and the Edinburgh club value him at a minimum £1.5m. Discussions with Bologna officials are ongoing.

Celtic remain interested in taking the defender back to Glasgow but prospects of Hickey joining Bayern Munich are effectively dead.

Bologna are trying to finalise a deal with Hearts to take him to Italy and Sabatini explained why he is an attractive prospect.

“Yes, we will do everything possible to take Aaron Hickey. He can play football, is intelligent and has important tactical qualities, also bearing in mind that he is a smart guy,” said the 65-year-old.

“With us he would be Dijks’s alternative. Does Bayern Munich want him too? We choose great teams as market competitors because we want to become great.”

The Hearts manager Robbie Neilson said he expects negotiations to reach a conclusion in a matter of days.

Hickey is keen to join a club where he has a chance of regular first-team action after breaking into the Hearts team as a 16-year-old in spring 2019.

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