Hearts accept increased Bologna bid as Aaron Hickey prepares to travel to Italy

Defender to have a medical and sign contract
Hearts teenager Aaron Hickey is a wanted man.Hearts teenager Aaron Hickey is a wanted man.
Hearts teenager Aaron Hickey is a wanted man.

Hearts have accepted an improved offer from Bologna for defender Aaron Hickey which is worth almost £1.8million in total.

The 18-year-old is due to travel to Italy this week to finalise paperwork and undergo a medical ahead of the proposed move to Serie A.

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He has the option of joining the Italians on loan for a season before a pre-agreed permanent transfer next summer.

Celtic remain interested but Bologna increased their bid from £1.3m to £1.78m in an effort to secure Hickey’s signature.

Celtic will be due £534,000 if the deal is completed thanks to a 30 per cent sell-on clause inserted in the player’s contract when he left Parkhead to join Hearts in 2018.

Bologna’s initial offer was lodged last month as negotiations began between officials at Tynecastle Park and their Italian counterparts.

The Hearts owner Ann Budge admitted a European club had made a formal transfer approach as anticipation of Hickey’s exit grew.

Bayern Munich were among the teams interested, with Hickey visiting them and Bologna to tour facilities as he pondered the next step in his career.

Hearts valued him at around £1.5m with his contract in its final year. Despite several attempts to agree an extension, they were resigned to him leaving Edinburgh for quite some time.

Bologna have now met the asking price and plan to complete the formalities of the deal over the coming days.

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They will give Hickey a place in their first-team squad, where he will be deputy left-back to the Dutchman Mitchell Dijks.

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