Arsenal may be in the race for Bologna’s Aaron Hickey, but the situation reportedly isn’t as advanced as they’re claiming in Italy.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY: Aaron Hickey of Bologna FC celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Bologna FC at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore on December 22, 2021. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY: Aaron Hickey of Bologna FC celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Bologna FC at Mapei Stadium – Citta’ del Tricolore on December 22, 2021. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Reports from Italy in recent days suggested Arsenal had reached a fee agreement with Bologna to sign Aaron Hickey this summer. The claim was that Bologna sporting director Riccardo Bigon had flown to London and agreed a €20-25m deal.

From the Arsenal side, various sources have suggested that’s not the case.

David Ornstein reports for The Athletic that Hickey is not close to joining Arsenal as things stand, whilst Sam Dean of The Telegraph writes that “reports in Italy of an agreed deal are wide of the mark”.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Arsenal aren’t interested in Hickey, nor that they aren’t planning a serious move to sign him.

Neither reporter has ruled out that possibility, merely stating that no deal is close right now. Perhaps that shouldn’t be too surprising, as we haven’t yet reached the end of the season, let alone the official start of the summer window.

ROME, ITALY: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of AS Roma battles for possession with Aaron Hickey of Bologna during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Bologna FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 01, 2022. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of AS Roma battles for possession with Aaron Hickey of Bologna during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Bologna FC at Stadio Olimpico on May 01, 2022. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s relationship with Bologna is obviously strong following the Takehiro Tomiyasu transfer, so you’d hope the Gunners could get a deal done if Hickey really is a player they want.

Football.London previously confirmed that Arsenal are monitoring Hickey ahead of the summer transfer window, and that they’re interested in signing the versatile full-back.

Hickey is effectively ambidextrous and can play in either full-back position. The 19-year-old has responded to the speculation around his future, but his answer didn’t tell us much.

“I do see a lot of talk,” Hickey said recently. “It’s nice to know there’s interest from other clubs, it gives you some confidence. But you just keep your head down and focus on football.”

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.