Premier League outfit Aston Villa are stepping up their interest in Aaron Hickey but the Celtic target has shown little interest in leaving Serie A side Bologna, as reported by The Sun (17 October, page 59).
With those pesky post-Brexit rules scuppering Villa’s hopes of snapping up some of Europe’s most exciting teenage talent, from Lamare Bogarde to Sil Swinkels, the Midlands giants appear to have recalibrated their approach, prioritising those with a British passport instead.
And that’s where Hickey comes in.
The Glasgow-born, Scotland youth star came through the ranks at Celtic before making a name for himself at Hearts, starting the 2019 Scottish Cup final aged just 16.
A £1.5 million move to Italy has seen Hickey hone his talents in a division featuring some of the game’s most feared attacking talent.
Still just 19, Hickey has started all eight of Bologna’s Serie A matches this season. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
Aston Villa eye Aaron Hickey – or could he return to Celtic?
And, according to The Sun, there’s no reason to suggest Hickey will be on the move again soon.
Aston Villa are interested – as are former employers Celtic. It’s understood the Hoops made a £3.5 million bid for Hickey, their ‘one-that-got-away’ in the summer transfer window.
“Aaron is a player of Bologna and, despite the interest of many clubs, he will stay here – 100 per cent,” technical director Walter Sabatini said at the time.
“Last season was cut short for him due to an injury but he has already shown us his great qualities. Bologna is betting a lot on him and he will stay with us.”
While the Glaswegian left-back certainly has unfinished business in green-and-white hoops, he also has plenty of time on his side. He doesn’t turn 20 until July and is in no rush to end to his Italian adventure.
Interestingly, the Daily Record reported in August 2020 that Aston Villa had shown an interest in one of Britain’s most exciting teenage defenders.
The fact Hickey is still on their radar, 14 months on, is a reflection of how well he has settled in Serie A.