Aston Villa are reportedly in pole position to sign Bologna’s 19-year-old Scottish left-back Aaron Hickey in the January transfer window.
According to Tuttosport, as relayed by Sport Witness, Aston Villa are keeping close tabs on Aaron Hickey. The Premier League outfit has sent scouts to monitor his progress at Bologna closely, with Steven Gerrard believed to be a keen admirer of the 19-year-old defender.
There has been no official discussion between the two parties surrounding Hickey’s potential move away from Bologna in January. However, the report suggests Aston Villa are still leading the chase, despite interest from other clubs across England, including Manchester City.
A product of the Hearts academy in his native Scotland, Hickey had initially joined Bologna in the summer of 2020. He made the bizarre decision of joining the Serie A club in order to receive regular game-time at the highest level of football – a struggling Bologna side that had Mitchell Dijks as the only registered left-back was an excellent option.
However, Hickey’s first season in Italy saw him appear in only 11 league matches. The 19-year-old was considered a backup for Dijks. But that has changed in the new season, with the Scotsman already notching up 19 appearances, featuring in every single Serie A game for his team so far.
The teenage prodigy has made a solid impression as well, showcasing excellent athleticism and attacking quality on the flanks. His ability to provide the width and involve himself in the attacking side of things has seen him score four goals for Bologna this season, with two of them coming in the last four matches.
Hickey’s breakthrough has put Aston Villa on red alert as Steven Gerrard looks to add more competition for Matt Targett at left-back. The former Rangers boss has been monitoring Hickey for quite some time now and believes he has the ability to shine in the Premier League.
However, it remains to be seen whether Bologna will be keen on offloading their breakout star anytime soon. The 19-year-old has a contract at Bologna until 2024, giving the Rossoblu the leverage to demand a hefty figure for the services of the talented 19-year-old.
Aston Villa have no shortage of alternatives, though, as they are monitoring several other options to bolster the left-back slot. Borna Barisic, for one, is reportedly a target for the Villans. The Croat had worked with Gerrard during their time together at Rangers, and it appears the Aston Villa manager is keen on a potential reunion.