Celtic are reportedly interested in taking Hearts’ Aaron Hickey from Tynecastle to Parkhead.
The Jambos youngster has made 25 appearances this season (Transfermarkt). According to the Scottish Sun, the Hoops “fancy” the player, who has become a mainstay in the Hearts team thanks to Craig Levein and Daniel Stendel’s respective faith in him.
However, despite the interest, Celtic apparently don’t want to go to Hearts’ £1.7million asking price. The Sun believe that Crystal Palace are ready to swoop in and outbid the Parkhead side.
The report also states that Celtic are entitled to 30% of any transfer fee involved. That would mean that, if Celtic decided to pay the asking price, we would only really have to pay just under £1.2m.
This is down to the fact that Hickey was formerly of the Celtic youth system. He was released before heading to Hearts and becoming a reliable Premiership performer.
If Celtic want their man, £1.7m shouldn’t be a problem
Hickey’s deal at Tynecastle runs out in the summer of 2021 (Transfermarkt). Therefore there is still a further 18 months left on his current contract.
What that means is that Hearts don’t particularly need to sell in this window. They can wait until the summer and still manage to get a decent fee for Hickey.
But if this is a player that Neil Lennon wants to tie up, we shouldn’t be complaining over a few thousand pounds. The last thing we need is to be regretting not just paying the money necessary to sign him. You would hope Celtic would’ve learned from the John McGinn saga.
As for the player himself, Hickey has been a regular at Tynecastle, but is still clearly finding his feet at this level. The youngster still has a tendency to get brushed off the ball too easily, and still seems to run out of stamina quickly too.
Hickey has proven that he can play on either flank for Hearts. Mostly, he’s been deployed as a left-back for Levein and Stendel this season.
That’s not a position Celtic need to be overly concerned about just now. The club has three permanent left-backs currently vying for the spot as things are. If Celtic were to beat Palace to Hickey, you would imagine he would have a tricky fight on his hands at Parkhead.
The Sun believes that Palace would give Hickey back to Hearts for the rest of the season should they sign him. If it’s Celtic who come out on top, we could do with adopting the same policy. Hickey needs games to continue his development – it would be a long time before he started getting that at Parkhead.