Bologna boss, Sinisa Mihajlovic, believes he has sealed the £2-million purchase of Aaron Hickey.
Hearts’ 18-year-old defender has a highly attractive counter offer to join Bayern Munich, and the German giants have been showing him around their facilities over the weekend.
However, during face-to-face talks at Bologna’s Casteldebole Sports Centre, he received a guarantee from former Serbian star Mihajlovic he would be made understudy to the team’s Dutch left-back, Mitchell Dijks.
An Italian media report of that commitment was enough to persuade Hickey to agree to join up for the 2020-21 Serie A campaign.
Whether from Bologna or Bayern, the money would be a welcome boost for Hearts, who have been financially hit by the club’s relegation to the Championship and the costs incurred with their unsuccessful appeal against the drop.
Mihajlovic also wants to recruit Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, with the Colombian’s name under much discussion in Italy this summer.
Sassuolo were linked with him, but are unable to meet the £18m asking price.
Napoli were also keen, with manager Rino Gattuso, the former Rangers star, having given his approval to the transfer.
Their bid stalled, though, due to concerns raised by the club’s sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli about Morelos’s disciplinary record.
Instead, they turned to France and Lille’s highly-rated frontman, Victor Osimhen.
A renowned disciplinarian, Bologna boss Milhajlovic has no such concerns. He is confident the striker could flourish under his charge.
Bologna, though, could face competition for his signature on multiple fronts.
French club Lille have been a persistent suitor in recent weeks and had a £16.75m bid rejected last week.
Thanks to the sale of Osimhen, they have plenty of cash to spend and their decision will be whether or not they believe Morelos is worth the money being asked for him.
There have been reports too of interest in Spain, with Sevilla linked.
Rangers for their part have the comfort of knowing they have already been active in the transfer market.
Strikers Keemar Roofe and Cedric Itten, two long-time targets of Steven Gerrard, have been recruited.
Their arrival at Ibrox has eased supporters’ fears the club could be left short should Morelos depart later in the season, but still within the October close of the transfer window.
Hearts have likewise been busy making inquiries to protect themselves against the departure of Hickey.
Former Scotland international, Stephen Kingsley, has been lined up after coming to the end of his contract at Hull City.
The 26-year-old, who has one cap for the country, spent three years south of the border, but his time was handicapped by injury.
Now fully fit again, he is understood to be seriously considering a return to Scotland where he made his breakthrough with Falkirk.
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