September 25, 2021

Neilson expects to lose Hickey

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Neilson: “From a personal perspective, as a manager, I would like him to be here because he has great quality, but I think things will be moving in the next few days”

Last Updated: 01/09/20 3:38pm

Aaron Hickey looks set to leave Hearts and join Bologna Aaron Hickey looks set to leave Hearts and join Bologna

Aaron Hickey looks set to leave Hearts and join Bologna

Robbie Neilson says he expects Aaron Hickey to leave Hearts in the coming days but he admits he would love to keep him at the club.

The 19-year-old defender looks set to join Serie A side Bologna, with the two clubs close to an agreement on a deal.

Hickey played 30 times for the club last season as he became a key player in the side, including some key games against Rangers and champions Celtic.

“We’re still waiting to see what happens. We had an offer come in that we knocked back and we’re waiting to see where it goes,” Hearts boss Neilson told Sky Sports News when asked about Hickey’s future at the club.

“It’s been a long, drawn out process but we’re hopefully getting to the end of it now. But until it’s done, he’s still a Hearts player.

“From a personal perspective, as a manager, I would like him to be here because he has great quality, but I think things will be moving in the next few days.

“He’s got a lot of experience and has played in big games and looked very comfortable in big games as well, hence the reason there’s been a lot of interest in him.

“We’ll see where it goes in the next two or three days.”

It’s been a long, drawn out process but we’re hopefully getting to the end of it now. But until it’s done, he’s still a Hearts player.

Robbie Neilson on Aaron Hickey

Regardless of where he ends up, Neilson believes regular football is key to Hickey’s development.

“From Aaron’s perspective – and I’ve had this conversation with him – it’s important he continues to go and play first-team football,” Neilson added.

“I think that’s why he has progressed so quickly, because he has got it here at such a young age. I would hate to see him go somewhere and drift into their U20s or U23s team.

“Ultimately he will make the decision with his father and his agent where he goes and we wish him all the best.”

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