As one season comes to an end, so the planning for the next begins in earnest.
Arsenal may have squandered the chance to play Champions League football but the return of European action, in the form of the Europa League, means we have to add depth to the squad.
The Gunners have already signed American keeper Matt Turner to provide backup to Aaron Ramsdale, we’re closing in on a deal for Sao Paulo’s teenage striker Marquinhos – earmarked as one for the future – and now attention has turned to another raid on Serie A side Bologna.
After last summer’s successful acquisition of Takehiro Tomiyasu, it’s widely reported that we’re keen on Scotland international Aaron Hickey.
The 19-year-old joined Bologna from Hearts two years ago and has since become a regular under head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. This season, he’s featured 35 times in Serie A, scoring five goals and making one assist.
Primarily a left-back, Hickey is a versatile operator with experience at centre-back, right-back and even midfield. It’s an attractive mix for Mikel Arteta who harbours concerns about the repeated injury issues experienced by Kieran Tierney and an erratic debut season by Nuno Tavares.
On Monday, Corriere di Bologna claimed a Gunners offer in the region of €20-25 million was imminent. Despite interest from Brentford, Calciomercato now claims a deal taking the Scot to Emirates Stadium is close and “only the last details are missing”.
Having signed Hickey for just £1.5 million – a coup given they faced competition from Bayern Munich – it’s potentially a fine piece of business from a club with a growing reputation for scouting rough diamonds.