Aaron Hickey: Bologna steal march on Bayern Munich after making Hearts offer

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Aaron Hickey
Aaron Hickey has already visited Bayern Munich and is said to be excited by the prospect of joining them

Bologna have stolen a march on Bayern Munich in the race to sign Aaron Hickey after lodging a bid with Hearts.

The 18-year-old left-back has visited both the Serie A side and the European champions in recent weeks.

And while the latter have made contact with Hearts this summer - and boyhood club Celtic have also been linked with Hickey - it is Bologna who had made the first official move.

The Scottish Championship side have also signed winger Elliot Frear.

The 29-year-old former Motherwell player was a free agent following the expiration of his contract at Forest Green Rovers and has signed a one-year deal.

Hickey made his debut for Hearts aged 16, and two weeks later became the youngest player to start a Scottish Cup final in the modern era when he played against Celtic in May last year.

Bologna intend for him to be part of their first-team squad, while Bayern would place him in their second team, which plays in the German third tier.

"I have now had one formal approach from a European club," Hearts chair Ann Budge confirmed to BBC Scotland.

"I've made it clear to Aaron and his agent I don't want him to go but if that is what then future holds for him then so be it. I think he is going to want to go somewhere."

Budge said Celtic had not contacted Hearts recently about the Hickey, but had made "a couple of offers" in previous transfer windows that were rejected.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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