Arsenal are leading the race to sign Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey, a player who has been likened to Bayern Munich and Germany legend Philipp Lahm.
That is according to a report by 1000 Cuori Rossoblu (opens in new tab) which states that Hickey would cost £17.1m this summer.
The Scotland international is enjoying an excellent season in Serie A, having swapped Hearts for Bologna in 2020.
Hickey was a target for Bayern (opens in new tab) around that time, but he chose the Italian outfit because he felt he had a better chance of playing regular first-team football.
The 19-year-old, who can be deployed as a wing-back or a conventional left-back, has scored five goals and provided one assist in 34 league appearances this term.
He could be on the move ahead of next season, with Bologna bracing themselves for bids in the coming weeks.
Arsenal (opens in new tab) are sniffing around Hickey, who could provide competition for his compatriot Kieran Tierney at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Nuno Tavares has deputised in Tierney's absence of late, but the Portuguese remains raw at 22.
Takehiro Tomiyasu and Granit Xhaka have also filled in at left-back, with the former used there in the 2-1 victory over Leeds (opens in new tab) on Sunday.
Bologna would prefer to keep hold of Hickey, who has been one of their star performers this season.
But they know that it would be hard to resist offers from clubs of Arsenal's stature, especially if Mikel Arteta's men get over the line in their hunt for Champions League football.
Hickey is highly thought of in Italy and he also impressed Daniel Stendel, his former manager at Hearts.
"Aaron is an extraordinary talent. For such a young age, he is extremely calm and composed on the ball," the German said in 2020.
"He never panics, never loses his cool and always seems to make the right decisions. Despite being so young, he's very hard to play against.
"Aaron as a player is like Philipp Lahm. For me at Hearts, he played as a full-back.
"He not only runs up and down the line, but looks for attacking moves like Lahm once did.
"And Aaron can also play in the central midfield. Trust me, he will have a great career.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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