The Scotsman

Hickey heads for Bologna as Hearts ac­cept £1.8m of­fer

- By BARRY ANDERSON Sports · Soccer · Bologna F.C. 1909 · Bologna · Italy · Italy National Football Team · Serie A · Celtic F.C. · Munich · Bologna · Edinburgh

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.

He has the op­tion of join­ing the Ital­ian son loan for a sea­son be­fore a prea­greed per­ma­nent trans­fer next sum­mer.

Celtic re­main in­ter­ested but Bologna in­creased their bid from £1.3 m to £1.78 min 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 Euro - pean club had made a for­mal trans­fer ap­proach as an­tic­i­pa­tion of Hickey’ s exit grew.

B aye rn 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.

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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