Celtic have made a £3.5m bid to sign Bologna starlet Aaron Hickey, according to the Scottish Sun.
What is the latest transfer news involving Aaron Hickey?
Hickey only moved to Serie A from Hearts in September 2020 for a fee of £1.5m (BBC Sport).
The Hoops were interested in signing the player then. Hickey himself confirmed that Celtic were keen on him before the move to Italy (La Gazzetta dello Sport via Edinburgh Live), while the Scottish Sun claim they actively attempted to sign him.
Now Celtic are once again pursuing the full-back, and the Scottish Sun report states that talks with Hickey could take place as early as this week following a £3.5m bid.
Celtic chiefs reportedly expect the deal to go through, and are confident that they'll be able to agree personal terms with the teenager.
How have Celtic fared in the transfer window?
Should Celtic manage to land Hickey, it will be the club's biggest signing of the close season so far. The Bhoys have brought in Sheffield Wednesday defender Osaze Urhoghide, but he only cost around £200,000 due to cross-border compensation rules (The Scotsman).
Hickey would cost far more than that, and should the signing go through it would show that the new Hoops regime of Ange Postecoglou and chief executive Dominic Mackay won't be adverse to spending big money if they feel that the player is worth it.
Has the left-back performed well in Italy?
In his one season in Italy, Hickey made 11 appearances at left-back for Bologna. That might not seem like very many, but as WhoScored shows the former Tynecastle star demonstrated his potential.
Hickey had an average of 1.1 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game. His passing was also consistent, with an 88.4% success rate. That is certainly impressive for a teenager adapting to football in a new league, and he can be pleased with how well he has performed in Italy.
Would Hickey hold down a first-team place at Celtic?
Should Hickey join Celtic then he will face fairly stiff competition to become the first-choice left-back. That competition is likely to come from Greg Taylor, who recently made the Scotland squad for Euro 2020.
Boli Bolignoli has returned to Celtic from a loan spell in Turkey and can also play at left-back, but his future in Glasgow is uncertain, and last month the Daily Record reported that he was a transfer target for Altay SK.
Therefore, it could be a battle between Hickey and Taylor to see who is Celtic's first choice left-back. Taylor certainly has the more experience of the two as he is 23 years old.
According to WhoScored, Taylor had a 78.9% successful passing rate in the Scottish Premiership, which is less than what Hickey achieved in Italy.
However, his tackling was better than Hickey's with an average of 1.5 challenges per game. It could be an intriguing contest between the two players should Hickey join Celtic.News Now - Sport News