Hearts ace Aaron Hickey eyed by Italian giants AC Milan to replace €17m international - reports in Italy

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The seven-time European Cup winners are tracking young, talented full-backs

Italian giants AC Milan are the latest of Europe's elite to show an interest in Hearts defender Aaron Hickey.

Aaron Hickey is attracting interest from AC Milan. Picture: SNS

Aaron Hickey is attracting interest from AC Milan. Picture: SNS

The Italians are on the lookout for a new left-back with Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez, a €17million signing from Wolsfburg in 2017, set for a switch to Turkish side Fenerbache.

Trusted Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports Hickey is one of two options the Rossoneri are looking at, the other being Wigan Athletic's Anthonee Robinson.

Milan, who sit a lowly tenth in Serie A, want a young full-back "to grow behind the others already in the squad", according to Di Marzio. French defender Theo Hernandez is the current left-back following his big-money move from Real Madrid in the summer.

Manchester City interest

Hickey is well liked by Manchester City who have developed a good relationship with Hearts having loaned Ryotaro Meshino to the club, as well as Ashley Smith-Brown in the past.

Talks between the clubs took place last month regarding the 17-year-old, with the Premier League side expressing their interest in the player but no agreement was made over a transfer.

Since making his debut at Aberdeen towards the end of last season, Hickey has developed into a key first-team player, his standing skyrocketing after an assured performance in the Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic as a 16-year-old.

Hickey, who has started 24 of Hearts' 28 games this campaign, has been praised by new boss Daniel Stendel for his bravery and approach to games.