Premier League • England

Aaron Hickey transfer to Arsenal edges closer as Gunners pencil in talks with Bologna chief

Aaron Hickey of Bologna

Arsenal representatives will soon meet with Bologna director of football Riccardo Bigon to discuss the signing of Aaron Hickey, according to a report.

Hickey, who mainly plays as a left-back but can also operate on the right side of defence, has been linked with plenty of English teams in recent months. The first Premier League club to want him was Aston Villa.

Other interested sides include Brentford, Newcastle and West Ham.

Arsenal became part of the transfer race on April 30. According to reports in Italy, they made an enquiry over Hickey’s availability ahead of the summer.

The Gunners were told he would be eligible to move, but only if Bologna’s £17million asking price was met. then backed these claims up, suggesting Mikel Arteta is in the market for a new left-back at the end of the season.

Hickey is one potential solution. He would arrive at the Emirates as a replacement for the slightly erratic Nuno Tavares.

Sport Witness provide an update on the situation, while citing reports coming out of Italy. They claim Bigon will travel to London on Wednesday to meet Arsenal officials.

Aaron Hickey the subject of Wednesday meeting

They will discuss the finances and practicality of 19-year-old Hickey joining the Gunners this summer.

The report reveals five other Prem teams want Hickey and will hold talks with Bigon too, although they are not named.

Arsenal have an advantage due to their existing relationship with the director of football. It stems from the talks surrounding Takehiro Tomiyasu last summer.

Arteta’s side went on to sign the right-back for just under £20m. He has been a big success in north London, so Arsenal fans will be hoping for more of the same from Hickey.

The teenager appears destined to play in the Prem. He has already made 34 appearances in Serie A this campaign, despite his tender age.

Moving to Arsenal would allow Hickey to work under compatriot Kieran Tierney. The latter is only 24 himself but is already one of Arsenal’s most reliable stars.

It will be no surprise if more clubs make bids for Hickey’s services in the upcoming transfer window. This may force Arsenal to spend more than the £17m price tag – unless they can sort out a deal with Bigon this week.

Elsewhere, West Ham are apparently fronting the race to land Eddie Nketiah. The centre-forward is eligible to leave Arsenal on a free transfer as his contract expires in June.