Hearts boss Daniel Stendel responds to speculation linking Aaron Hickey with AC Milan
The teenage full-back is being monitored by the Italian giants, according to reports
Hearts manager Daniel Stendel is in a position where he can't afford to lose key players.
The club are in relegation trouble, five points adrift at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership, with the need for reinforcements.
Reports in Italy surfaced on Wednesday evening, linking Aaron Hickey with AC Milan.
Gianluca Di Marzio, a trusted journalist with Sky Sport Italia, revealed the Serie A giants are tracking the 17-year-old defender. The club are understood to be looking to add a promising full-back to their ranks.
Stendel has admitted it is good for the player to be linked with such a move but he has urged the club not to sell the full-back this month.
Hickey has proved a crucial player for Hearts, starting 24 games this campaign, playing left-back, right-back, centre-back as well as at wing-back.
He said: "It's good when our player, especially in our situation, can play so well that other clubs are interested. This is our way for the future, but at the moment we look at what we can do here.
"We want to keep all the players that we need and this is 100 per cent Hickey."