Edu ‘steps up’ Arsenal transfer efforts for £17m Scotland star to replace Nuno Tavares


Arsenal technical director Edu is busy planning another successful transfer window at the Emirates, with the Gunners chief stepping up his efforts to sign Bologna defender Aaron Hickey

Edu is reportedly looking to replace Tavares

Arsenal have reportedly stepped up their attempts to sign Scotland star Aaron Hickey as a replacement for Nuno Tavares.

After laying out the Gunners’ transfer plans, technical director Edu is set to hold talks with Bologna over a move for the 19-year-old defender in the summer window, with the club – and legend Nigel Winterburnunconvinced over Tavares since his arrival from Benfica last year. Both Arsenal and Napoli are battling it out to sign Hickey, who has emerged one of Europe’s most exciting young left-backs following his £1.78million switch from Hearts in September 2020.

According to Corriere di Bologna, as relayed by Sport Witness, ‘direct contact’ between the Gunners and Bologna is imminent, with a £17million fee touted. The Scotland international, who boasts three caps for his country, is already used to being an understudy to Kieran Tierney at international level, Arsenal’s first-choice left-back.

After Tierney was ruled out for the rest of the season and underwent successful surgery on his knee, Tavares has been Mikel Arteta ‘s go-to guy on the left-hand side of Arsenal’s injury-hit defence. Unfortunately, the Portuguese has failed to impress during his first campaign in north London, leading Edu and co to look elsewhere – despite spending £7million on Tavares last summer and handing him a five-year deal.

Hickey is aware of the interest, having contributed to five goals in 34 appearances this term to demonstrate his attacking prowess. Speaking to Sky Sports, via the Scottish Express, the teenager revealed: “I do see quite a lot of talk. One of my friends text me today saying ‘what’s happening here, lad?’

“They’re sending me stuff for transfers and talks, but it’s nice to know there’s interest of other clubs. It gives you some confidence and stuff. You just keep your head down and focus in football.”






Arsenal are targeting Hickey

Have your say! Would Hickey be a good signing for Arsenal? Give us your verdict in the comments section.

On his recent exploits in Italy, Hickey added: “I’m proud. I didn’t expect it to go as well as it has done. I expected to just try and come here and break into the first team, get appearances. But, I’ve managed to break in and do well and managed to score a couple of goals.”

Last month, Edu opened on his club’s approach for the upcoming window, telling ESPN Brazil ahead of the Gunners’ 3-1 win against Manchester United : “The budget we used last summer, we prefer to use it to rebalance the squad. There was no point in hiring one or two players [in January ], the squad was not prepared to absorb two players, we needed to rebalance the squad.

“Maybe next season we can go to one or two players. Today we find a much more balanced squad. Our planning has already been done, it has already reached the owners. It’s a matter of step by step, how we are going to finish the season and to put in plan the planning that I’m very excited about.”

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