According to Football365 Arsenal and Liverpool have joined Southampton, among a link of other clubs, in the race to join Aaron Hickey from Hearts.
The 17-year-old has appeared as one of the most demanded defenders in Britain following some mature performances in the Scottish Premiership.
Hickey has established himself as a vital player in Craig Levein’s side, and it looks interest is gathering ahead of the upcoming winter transfer window.
Southampton may want to fend off a raft of requests from other Premier League clubs, though.
Arsenal and Liverpool are understood to be keen, while Manchester City, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Norwich City are also linked as potential destinations for Hickey.
There are cons and pros to the young defender moving to any of these clubs. While the allure of a significant transfer to the likes of Liverpool or City may request, it’s difficult to see how Hickey would force himself into the first team.
At clubs such as Southampton and Newcastle, though, there is more great space for progress, and with the young prospect of regular minutes on the senior steps, their pulling power could be equally good.
Saints, mainly, may be keen to add a new left-back to the line-up in January. Jake Vokins has not moved up to deputise Ryan Bertrand since Matt Targett’s sale, leaving Ralph Hasenhuttl without a known backup.
Also, Bertrand himself has hardly proved with his showings this season, prompting the manager to chop and change his decisions on the left-hand side.
This, added to the evidence that he is now 30-years-old and arguably with his best years over him, means that signing another left-back, perhaps in the mould of Hickey, would be reasonable.