Celtic want to bring Aaron Hickey back to Parkhead from Hearts, according to the Scottish Sun.
The Sun has reported that the Hoops are tracking Hickey along with English Premier League side Crystal Palace. Hearts had initially placed a big price on the defender’s name, but after asking their staff to take a 50% pay cut, this could lead to a cheap deal in the summer.
Hickey’s current contract also only lasts until the summer of 2021 (Transfermarkt). With Hearts currently bottom of the Premiership and in financial turmoil, there’s no new deal on the horizon as of yet.
The Sun has reported that Celtic also have a 30% sell-on fee for Hickey too. This is due to the fact that the youngster was once part of Celtic’s academy before he was snapped up by Hearts in 2018.
The Sun also states that Palace are long-term admirers of the defender along with Manchester City and Southampton.
Opportunity is there to bring Hickey back
With Hickey’s contract entering its final year soon, this could be a real opportunity for Celtic to pounce. After all, if Hearts don’t sell in the summer and still can’t persuade Hickey to sign a new deal, he can sign a pre-contract just six months down the line for nothing.
Of course, signing the left-back up would still remain a move for the long-term. Yes, Hickey has made 30 appearances for the Jambos (Transfermarkt). However, he still has a way to go before he should be playing regularly in Celtic’s first-team. It’s important to remember that the youngster is still only 17.
This summer will be Hearts’ last chance to get any sort of decent money for him. Even then, given there’ll only be a year left on his deal, it still wouldn’t be as much as if he was tied down on a long-term contract.
The Daily Record reported over the weekend that Hickey won’t be affected by the 50% wage cut at Hearts. This is down to the fact that his wage at Tynecastle is too low to be halved. But even so, it’s a sign that not all is well with the Jambos.
Celtic could still tempt Hickey with the prospect of a loan spell at another, more stable Premiership club next season to continue his development. All the while he’ll be tied down for the long-term at a club who have secured his future in the game.
It’ll be interesting to see what competition arises for Hickey’s signature in the summer. However, it’s not surprising to hear that Celtic could be set to bring him back.