Ex-Hearts kid Aaron Hickey: Former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard coy on Aston Villa links to Bologna and Barcelona players

Steven Gerrard says analysis of potential new recruits at Aston Villa is continuing behind the scenes as links with Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey continue to linger.

Aaron Hickey celebrates after scoring against Sassuolo last month. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Aaron Hickey celebrates after scoring against Sassuolo last month. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

The former Hearts player has lit up Serie A this season with four goals in 19 games, accumulating the third-highest minutes for an outfield player within his squad.

That form has led to rumours of a return to the UK, and interest from Gerrard, who saw the 19-year-old up close in the SPFL Premiership while at Rangers and is keen to strengthen the left side of the Aston Villa defence he inherited from Dean Smith.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

However the Villa Park boss said there was nothing “concrete” to report on new arrivals in the Midlands.

Gerrard said: "A lot of names are bandied around and, for the sake of our supporters, when there's something concrete they'll be the first to know.

"We're analysing a few different positions in our team and squad where we can look to strengthen.

"That is happening behind the scenes and we'll be respectful when there is something to speak about.

"In terms of transfers and additions, I can't really add anything."

Gerrard says he understands transfer speculation around Villa as "it is that time of the season" and has also been linked with a move for his old Liverpool colleague Phillipe Coutinho.

"I don't think you get a nickname of 'The Magician' if you're not a special footballer.

"He is someone I've got an incredible amount of respect for, but I don't want to add to any speculation because he belongs to Barcelona.”

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.