Celtic failed with SIX attempts to sign promising Hearts left-back Aaron Hickey, according to former manager Craig Levein.

The Hoops have admired the youngster for a while and tried to sign him on a number of occasions - only for Hearts to reject all efforts. Hickey, 18, played for Celtic's academy outfit before leaving for Gorgie two years ago. He has since gone on to establish himself as a top prospect at Tynecastle.

Levein told BBC Radio Scotland: "Celtic tried to buy him back half-a-dozen times and that just got knocked back. They tried to buy him back while he was in the first team, it was five or six times."

The ex-boss also revealed he would not be surprised if talented Hickey was moved from his full-back position further down the line in his career, because he has the ability to be a versatile star. “He’s got really good defensive qualities," Levein added. "He likes defending, which is a rare thing these days. He might end up going back into the midfield area.

“I think he would be a fantastic holding midfield player with his great awareness of danger and his ability to get out of tight situations with the ball at his feet.”

Man City, Bayern Munich and Bologna are all keen on the player and he will visit the Allianz Arena in Germany this week.