Arsenal appear to have suffered a major blow to their hopes of signing exciting full-back Aaron Hickey after another Premier League team agreed a deal for the Scotland star.
Bologna’s new sports director Giovanni Sartori has confirmed that Hickey will be sold imminently, with London rivals Brentford sealing the £14million capture of the 22-year-old defender.
The Gunners have been chasing Hickey for a number of months now. With that in mind, it will be a blow to see the player go elsewhere.
However, Mikel Arteta appears to have his sights set elsewhere, with Arsenal looking to beat Manchester United to Ajax star Lisandro Martinez.
The Eredivisie giants are asking for £43m for the Argentina international. And latest reports suggest United may have leapfrogged the Gunners in the chase for the player after making an official offer.
Arsenal have also been linked with Benfica star Alejandro Grimaldo, given that Nuno Tavares could be on the move.
The Portugal international struggled at times in his first season with the club and could be moved on.
However, it appears that Hickey will not be replacing anyone in north London.
Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano tweeted on Saturday that Brentford are closing in on a deal for the defender.
Hickey scored five times in 48 games in all competitions for Bologna last season. That form prompted plenty of interest in his signature, with Arsenal near the front of the queue.
Hickey on the move
Indeed, Bologna’s sporting director Sartori admitted that the player would be on the move.
He said: “As far as the outgoing market is concerned, the two players who will be leaving our club at the moment are Aaron Hickey and Matias Svanberg.
“Our priority at the moment will be contract renewals. Because we have a lot of players expiring in 2024 and we absolutely want to be ready. Next season, we want to be challenging for a European place.”
It appears that Arsenal will now have to turn their attentions to other defensive targets. Brentford, meanwhile, look like they are about to seal a real transfer coup.
The Bees had an excellent first season in the Premier League, finishing 13th and well clear of the drop zone.
Thomas Frank’s men are now looking to build on that debut campaign and strengthen their squad further.