ABERDEEN midfielder Connor Barron has emerged as a target for two Serie A clubs as interest hots up for the Scotland Under 21s star.

The 19-year-old made a huge impact in a struggling Aberdeen team last season after returning from spending the first half of the season on loan at runaway League Two winners Kelty Hearts.

He only signed a new deal with the Dons in January until 2024, but the Pittodrie club are already trying to renegotiate another deal with the talented youngster, with chairman Dave Cormack believed to be particularly keen to tie him down on a long-term contract.

But just days after they sold right back Calvin Ramsay to Liverpool for a record fee that could potentially rise to up to £8 million, Barron has now attracted serious interest from Italy.

Bologna are set to have money to spend with up to £18 million reportedly heading their way with the imminent sale of Scotland defender Aaron Hickey.

And they have targeted the Scottish market again because they believe it would offer them value for money.

They have been joined by ambitious Sassuolo, who finished in 11th place, two places above Bologna last season.

Highly-rated manager Alessio Dionisi has pinpointed Barron as a future prospect who could improve their club and they have registered an interest along with Bologna.

Barron, who impressed for Scotland Under 21s during their goalless draw in Belgium earlier this month, is a huge part of manager Jim Goodwin's plans for the season and will be handed the shirt No.8 for the new campaign.

But Aberdeen have a major fight on their hands to keep hold of one of their brightest young starlets.