According to the Daily Record, QPR have been credited with an interest in Hearts left-back Aaron Hickey, who is widely regarded as one of the burgeoning young talents north of the border in Scottish football.
The 17-year-old starlet has already attracted widespread interest from several top clubs, with reigning Premier League champions Man City and Southampton among the potential suitors for his services, whilst domestic giants Rangers are also keeping close tabs on the youngster’s progress. (h/t Edinburgh Live)
However, as per the report, QPR are the latest club to enter the race to sign the Tynecastle prodigy, with manager Mark Warburton’s connections north of the border making a move likely to materialize in the coming months.
Aaron Hickey is contracted at Tynecastle Park until the summer of 2021 but he is yet to pen a long-term deal at Tynecastle and QPR are hoping that a fee in the region of £1.5 million would be enough to tempt Hearts into selling one of the brightest prospects to have emerged from their academy in recent times. (h/t Daily Record)
Held in high regard as a prodigious talent with serious potential to make a big impact in any top league in Europe, Hickey made his first-team bow for Hearts in the previous campaign and earned plaudits for his stellar performance against Celtic’s James Forrest in the 2019 Scottish Cup final.
The highly-rated teenager has really come of age this term under the guidance of manager Craig Levein, establishing himself as a regular face at the back for Hearts.
Hickey has already made 12 appearances in all competitions in the ongoing campaign and grabbed the headlines last month with his last-minute winner against Hibernian in the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
To put things into perspective, Aaron Hickey looks destined to hit great heights in the future and QPR beating off competition from the Premier League giants to snap up one of the best emerging talents in Scotland for a thrifty amount would be nothing but daylight robbery.
Given their Championship status, the London outfit are going to have their work cut out in convincing the teenager to ditch more established clubs like Man City and Southampton but it would be a real coup and a certainly massive statement of intent if they manage to get their hands on the coveted left-back.
QPR have emerged as one of the surprise playoff contenders early in the season following their bright start to the campaign under Warburton, with strikers Nakhi Wells and Jordan Hugill leading their surge up the standings with 6 goals apiece.
Youngsters like Ilias Chair, Eberechi Eze and Bright Osayi-Samuel have established themselves as mainstays of the playing eleven while Ryan Manning has worked wonders for the club ever since Warburton shifted him to an unfamiliar left-back role.
However, with Manning out of contract in the near future and attracting interest from Premier League clubs Newcastle and Southampton (h/t West London Sport), QPR completing a swoop for Aaron Hickey would definitely make a lot of sense, given the lack of specialist options for Warburton in that area of the pitch.
Todd Kane and Yoann Barbet are both capable of filling in the void on the left-hand side of the backline but someone like Hickey would definitely be a wonderful long-term investment. It would be fair to say that QPR should make a move for the 17-year-old regardless of what the future holds for Manning.
It remains to be seen whether a move to Loftus Road would appeal to Hickey, who is the subject of interest from Man City and Southampton, but QPR could have a real chance in this race if they manage to convince the youngster of a clear pathway to the first-team.
Warburton’s reign at Loftus Road has already seen some of the young players get a consistent run in the playing eleven and Hickey could also benefit from the manager’s policy of blooding youngsters.
The 17-year-old is a regular starter for Hearts but the level of competition is a lot higher south of the border and a move to QPR is likely to give him a better chance of playing regularly, which is exactly what he needs to do at this stage of his career.
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