Hearts and Celtic cash in as Aaron Hickey finally joins Bologna

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AARON HICKEY has completed his protracted €1.6m (£1.45m) move to Bologna from Hearts, with Celtic pocketing €480,000 (£435,000) from the deal.

Hickey, 18, agreed terms on a four-year contract with the Serie A outfit more than a fortnight ago but the transfer was held up due to problems with his registration.

However, the paperwork was finally rubber-stamped on Thursday and, given the precocious left-back has been in full training with I Rossoblù since last week, he could make his debut against Parma next Monday.

Hearts youngster Aaron Hickey departs Glasgow Airport to join Bologna | Hearts news
Hickey could face Parma next Monday (Pic: Sky Sports News)

Mitchell Dijks, ahead of Hickey in the Bologna pecking order, was sent off in their opening day defeat against Milan, paving the way for Hickey to follow in the footsteps of Denis Law, Joe Jordan, Graeme Souness and Liam Henderson by immediately featuring in the Italian top-flight.

Hearts made the decision to cash in on Hickey as he entered the final year of his Tynecastle contract, with the player making it clear he had no interest in penning a new deal.

It is understood Celtic will benefit to the tune of 30 per cent of the initial transfer fee after inserting a sell-on clause when they allowed Hickey to leave Parkhead for the Jambos in the summer of 2018.

The Hoops attempted to tempt him back to Glasgow, Bayern Munich gave him a VIP tour of their facilities and the likes of Manchester City, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest all chased Hickey throughout this summer.

However, the promise of first-team opportunities and the lure of Serie A convinced Hickey that his future lay in Italy under the watchful eye of legendary former defender Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Hickey departs Tynecastle after making 32 appearances for Hearts, including a shock starting berth in the 2019 Scottish Cup final defeat against Celtic. He scored one goal, a memorable deflected winner in the 2-1 triumph over Hibs last September.

 
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