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Report: Celtic dealt blow in pursuit of 19-year-old Serie A ace

Celtic dealt major blow in pursuit of Bologna star Aaron Hickey

According to La Nazione (h/t Daily Record), Fiorentina have intensified negotiations with fellow Serie A club Bologna for the signing of Celtic target Aaron Hickey, dealing a blow to the Hoops.

Hickey started out at the academy of Scottish club Heart of Midlothian FC and briefly spent time at Celtic as well before returning to Hearts, where he graduated to the first-team and went on to make 34 senior appearances.

The young left-back, who scored and assisted one goal apiece for his boyhood club, was snapped up by Serie A side Bologna in the summer of last year. Hickey did not feature regularly for the Serie A outfit due to injury problems. Indeed, the 19-year-old featured in just 12 games throughout the 2020/21 season.

Greg Stewart of Rangers vies with Aaron Hickey of Heart of Midlothian during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts at Ibrox Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Getty Images)
Aaron Hickey (L) during his time at Hearts

But his stock remains high as ever, as Celtic are intent on bringing him back to Scotland this summer. The Hoops, embarking on a new journey under new manager Ange Postecoglou, are looking to bolster their defensive department.

Having decided not to sign Diego Laxalt permanently, Celtic have just Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor as options at left-back, with the former unsure of a future after returning from loan. So, signing someone like Hickey, who can make the spot his own for the coming years, would have been a good move.

However, Fiorentina seem to have thrown a spanner in the works for Celtic as the Serie A side have upped their efforts to land the youngster from Bologna. Indeed, it is reported that La Viola have intensified negotiations over a move, although they will have to offer at least €5m to stand a chance of signing the teenager.

Ange Postecoglou is the new Celtic manager (GETTY Images)
Ange Postecoglou is the new Celtic manager (GETTY Images)

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Bologna are in no hurry to sell Hickey and will wait for the highest bid as they look to maximise their profits. It is now up to Celtic to step up in their pursuit of the 19-year-old or risk missing out on him.