Hearts are monitoring the situation from afar as they will be due a portion of any fee paid to Bologna. Sporting director Joe Savage confirmed to the Evening News that a sell-on agreement is in place.
Tynecastle officials stipulated when selling Hickey to the Italians in September 2020 that they should get part of any future sale. The 19-year-old has played consistently in Serie A, scoring five times in 35 appearances this season and making his international debut against Poland in March.
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His performances at both left-back and right-back have attracted attention from other clubs in both Italy and England. “There definitely is a sell-on. There are a lot of rumours but we need to see if they will come true or not and whether Aaron is actually going to sign for another club,” said Savage.
“We are delighted for him as a player and a person. He has been brilliant over in Italy so we're pleased about that. We do have a sell-on so we do get a percentage of any sale, so it should be good for the club.”
Savage added that the clause is simply sensible management by Hearts. “Any club in the world developing and selling players, you have to protect yourself,” he said.
“You want a sell-on in the deal, you want some sort of add-ons in it or a buy-back option. Whatever it may be, you need to look after the interests of your own club. Hearts did that with Aaron.”
Savage did not confirm the exact figure in the sell-on clause but it is believed to be a pre-agreed amount. Hickey’s transfer to Bologna accounted for most of the £944,000 Hearts earned from player sales during the 2020/21 campaign.
Look out for part two of our exclusive Joe Savage interview later this week.