Bologna have finally confirmed the signing of Aaron Hickey from Hearts for an undisclosed fee.
The protracted deal has finally been concluded with the 18-year-old moving to the Serie A club on a long-term deal.
Hearts are set to net over a £1million with Celtic due 30 per cent of the transfer fee.
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Hickey’s arrival was announced by Bologna in a bizarre and somewhat hilarious video.
Footage of Scotland and what appears to be Loch Ness, it cuts to the player holding a dinosaur figurine, representing Loch Ness, before telling fans: “Believe me, I am real”. The video is, of course, accompanied by bagpipes.
Hickey becomes the first British player to play for the Italian side after they won the battle for his signature, despite strong interest from Bayern Munich and links to Celtic and a host of Premier League clubs.
Bologna’s website announcement reads: "The first British player in Bologna’s history, Hickey is a two-footed player, who has just finished a rather promising season at left-back with Heart of Midlothian F.C. A technically gifted player, he has great close control, is adept and progressing play up the pitch with a good range of passing and loves to get forward and join the attack.
"He joined Hearts in 2018 from Celtic’s academy and made his debut in the top flight of Scottish football at the age of just 16. Last season, he played in 22 of the Jam Tarts’ matches and even scored a fantastic goal and the club’s arch-rivals Hibernian. His performances put him on the radar of numerous top sides in Europe, and now, as of September 2020, he joins the Rossoblù on a permanent basis.”
Hickey, who will be managed by Siniša Mihajlović, could be in line to make his debut on Monday for his new club as they face Parma with first-choice left-back Mitchell Dijks suspended.
It has been a meteoric rise for the player. He made his debut aged 16 at he end of the 2018/19 season, doing enough to convince Craig Levein to start him in the Scottish Cup final where he impressed.
The player's composure, technical qualities and versatility saw him become a key player at Tynecastle, making 30 appearances last season across four different positions.