Aaron Hickey has opened up on his decision to choose a move to Bologna over Bayern Munich, with the teenager revealing he did snub the European champions for Serie A.
The former Hearts left-back also revealed that he turned down a trip west along the M8 to join Scottish rivals Celtic, while adding that Manchester City were never in the hunt for his services.
The 18-year-old's signature became a highly-prized one following an impressive breakout campaign at Tynecastle during the abbreviated 2019-20 season.
In the end, it was the Emilia-Romagna outfit who won the race to nurture the versatile defender and midfielder following Hearts' relegation into the Scottish second tier.
Speaking out on his transfer now, Hickey has revealed that he was flattered by interest from Champions League winners Bayern, widely regarded as the strongest side in Europe over the past year.
But he stressed that he firmly believed he had made the right call in resisting the call of Hansi Flick's side to ply his trade in Italy instead, highlighting the atmosphere at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.
"Bayern are a great club, but Bologna is huge," Hickey told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I am sure that I have chosen a great club. Playing in Serie A is like landing on the moon. It's amazing."
The young talent further revealed that while he did not attract attention from Pep Guardiola and company, he did from Neil Lennon, adding: "Manchester City did not want to sign me, Celtic did."
Hickey was reported to have turned down Bayern's offer over fears he would pick up only limited game time in Germany.
Instead, he has made seven Serie A starts already this term, helping Bologna to steady themselves in mid-table across the opening exchanges of the campaign, deputising for Mitchell Dijks.
He also played in their Coppa Italia exit last month, when they were defeated by Spezia after extra-time.
Last month, he earned his first call-up to the Scotland U21 set-up, having previously made his international U19 debut last year against Portugal in a 2-0 defeat.
Bologna play title contenders Inter this weekend in the top flight, with Hickey expected to feature once again ahead of a busy festive schedule.