A player reportedly on the radar of Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has found himself on the receiving end of relegation.
According to the Daily Mail, the Toffees are interested in signing Hearts defender Aaron Hickey as the race for his signature intensifies.
Hickey also appeared in Hearts’ Scottish Cup final last season in just his third senior outing.
Other clubs linked with Hickey over the past few months include Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Rangers, Newcastle United and Bayern Munich.
Hickey has been one of the Edinburgh side’s better players in a season of struggles which saw them bottom of the table at the time of the Scottish Premiership’s suspension in March.
On Monday, the SPFL “called” the 2019-20 top-flight season, which resulted in Celtic being named champions and Hearts suffering demotion to the Scottish Championship.
Hickey is an incredibly talented player, with an impressive number of games under his belt despite his young age, and so it’s not surprising that he is being linked with some of Britain’s best clubs as well as German giants Bayern – The Mirror has made comparisons with Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson and Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney.
Even though Hearts are fighting tooth and nail off the pitch to avoid relegation, Hickey is unlikely to stay even if they get reinstated, given he’d be able to fetch the Tynecastle side a hefty sum, which would benefit them in the current financial climate.
And of course, the player himself could well be tempted by an ambitious move elsewhere – when you’ve got Scotland’s best teams, a host of top English teams and even Bayern Munich interested in your services, you’d feel like the world is your oyster.