The Scottish defender is in London for a medical and will sign a long-term contract with the English Premier League club barring unexpected late hitches. As part of his move from Edinburgh to Italy in 2020, Hearts have a six-figure sell clause.
Tynecastle club sporting director Joe Savage confirmed to this newspaper in May that the deal with Hickey stipulates that Bologna must transfer a certain portion of any future sale. The Evening News has learned that the amount is a previously agreed six-figure sum which will now be transferred to Hearts’ bank account.
The initial fee for Hickey’s transfer to Bologna accounted for the bulk of the £944,000 in Hearts earned from player sales during the 2020/21 campaign. Club officials felt the payment combined with the sell clause was a positive deal at the time amid the uncertainty of Covid 19 and their forced relegation to the Championship.
Other clubs in England and Italy were interested in signing Hickey, 20, after two good years in Serie A. He scored five times in 36 appearances for Bologna last season and made his international debut against Poland in March.
Brentford have agreed to pay Bologna £14m upfront and potentially a further £5m in add-ons for the full-back. Hearts can now count on a windfall to come.
“There’s definitely a sell-off,” Savage said in May. “There are a lot of rumors but we have to see if they will come true or not and if Aaron will actually sign for another club.
“We’re delighted for him as a player and as a person. He’s been brilliant in Italy, so we’re delighted. We have a sale, so we get a percentage on any sale, so that should be good for the club.
“Any club in the world developing and selling players, you have to protect yourself. You want a sale in the deal, you want some sort of add-ons or a buyout option. Either way, you have to look out for the interests of your own club. Hearts did that with Aaron.
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