In the absence of Kieran Tierney, Arsenal have had to rely on the inexperienced Nuno Tavares in their search for a place in the top four of the Premier League.
This has brought mixed results and the club’s hierarchy look to have pinpointed an alternative option in the form of Bologna’s Aaron Hickey.
London understands that the club are eyeing the 19-year-old as further backup in the full-back position, with fellow Scotland international Tierney returning next season.
Hickey has made 33 appearances in Serie A this season, scoring an impressive five goals.
The former Hearts and Celtic man can operate on both sides of the defence as well as in central midfield and would present a solid long-term option for the Gunners.
Bologna have placed an £18 million fee on the head of the player who has also drawn the attention of AC Milan and Newcastle.
“The former Heats defender scored at the weekend vs Udinese and was quick to put any speculation to rest, with the Daily Record reporting that Hickey could be offered a new contract. The Glasgow born full-back explained his commitment to the Bologna when asked about his future, saying:”My goal this season was to play more games than last season.
I achieved that aim and that’s something I am very happy about.
“The important thing is to keep my head down and keep improving with a coaching staff that are helping me a lot. Now I think about my future only here in Bologna.”
“The way we play helps me a lot compared to what I was used to in Scotland. In terms of my progress, I have to keep improving to gain experience and help the team.” He added: “But personally, I think I still need to improve both in the attacking and defensive parts of my game.”