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Steven Gerrard’s Rangers and Neil Lennon’s Celtic are among the clubs who have tracked Aaron Hickey, according to The Glasgow Evening Times, but Heart of Midlothian manager Robbie Neilson wants the defender to sign a new contract.

Rangers, Celtic, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Lazio all are interested in the 18-year-old, according to the report.

Hearts will play in the Scottish Championship next season, and the likes of Rangers and Celtic might think that they would be able to prise away the defender.

However, Neilson has said that he wants Hickey to stay at Hearts beyond the summer and actually sign a new contract.

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Neilson told The Glasgow Evening Times: “I expect interest but my hope is that [Hickey] comes back for pre-season. My hope is that he plays for us over the season and we can tie him down to a longer deal.

“He’s still a young kid and he still needs to develop. This is a great place for him to develop. Those will be conversations we have with him in the coming weeks and we’ll see how it goes. We want to keep hold of our best players and Aaron comes into that category.

“He’s shown great potential but at the moment it is potential. From Aaron’s perspective it’s important he plays football matches and get that here. I’ve seen a lot of young players that have burst onto the scene, who have left early and not played first team football but ended up going down to U23s football in England.”

Rangers or Celtic move?

Hickey is a very good defender who is already an important player for Hearts despite being only a teenager.

A move to Rangers or Celtic must be tempting for any young Scottish footballer, but perhaps he should stay at Hearts for one more season, play regular first-team football and help them return to the Scottish Premiership.

The 18-year-old would struggle to play regular first-team football at Rangers or Celtic.

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