An ultra-versatile defender could be on the move just one year after coming to the Premier League, with a report detailing a looming bidding war between Man Utd and Man City.
When searching for which Premier League club conduct the smartest business each window, one must look no further than Brighton. However, it’s fair to say Thomas Frank’s Brentford have been no slouches either.
The Bees continue to pull off masterstroke after masterstroke in the market, with David Raya (£3m), Ben Mee (free), Christian Eriksen (free) and Ivan Toney (£10m with add-ons) among their greatest successes.
However, a new name can now be added to that list – Scotland international, Aaron Hickey.
The 20-year-old was plucked from Serie A side Bologna last summer in a deal worth £14m and rising to £18m through add-ons.
However, less than one year later Hickey is now being chased by both Manchester clubs and a £30m price tag has been cited by the Sun.
Hickey has played primarily on the right side of defence under Thomas Frank this term. He’s featured at right-back and right wing-back, though is equally adept at playing anywhere on the left side too.
In fact, Hickey generally played as a left-back for his first professional side Hearts. He’s also capable of playing in central midfield, something that’s caught the eye over at Man City given Pep Guardiola’s recent change to a 3-2-4-1 formation.
The Sun claimed Guardiola has installed Hickey high on his shortlist of defensive targets this summer. The potential exit of Aymeric Laporte and continued speculation surrounding Kyle Walker and Aston Villa could necessitate a move.
Football Insider weigh in on Hickey’s future, confirming Man City have scouted the player this season. However, the report adds that move has been matched by Man Utd who are also scouting the player.
FI claim both Manchester clubs ‘are interested in signing the defender this summer’. As such, Hickey’s time with Brentford may only last one season.
His contract doesn’t expire until 2026, though if Brentford receive a bid worth roughly double the initial £14m they paid Bologna, a sale will be difficult to ignore.
Man Utd’s priority this summer is understood to be signing a high calibre centre-forward.
However, the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are all facing uncertain futures.
Given Hickey’s versatility and the fact he’s now proven in the Premier League, he’d represent a superb addition if Erik ten Hag decides to refresh his defensive ranks.