According to ESPN, Jose Mourinho-led AS Roma are in talks with Arsenal to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the January transfer window.
The 24-year-old Englishman was desperate to leave the Emirates last summer. He even decided to force a move away through an Instagram post, but Mikel Arteta was having none of that.
The Arsenal boss made it clear that Maitland-Niles was going nowhere and the versatile Hale End graduate reluctantly stayed put. That may no longer be the case in January.
Jose Mourinho wants to sign Arsenal ace Ainsley Maitland-Niles
The report claims that Everton, who were keen to sign Maitland-Niles last summer, are still interested in his services. However, the Toffees face a tough battle against Roma, who have already opened talks with the Gunners over a move next month.
Mourinho’s side are discussing a loan move in January with the view of signing Maitland-Niles on a permanent deal at the end of this season. The Englishman is reportedly open to the move as well, which is a huge boost for the Italians.
However, it is unclear what Arsenal will do next month as they’ll lose Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny to the African Cup Of Nations.
The Insider’s View:
Maitland-Niles has been desperate for regular game time at Arsenal for about a year now. He forced his way out on loan to West Brom at the start of this year and he did everything he could to leave in the summer as well.
We don’t expect that stance to change next month. A move to AS Roma, where fellow Englishman Tammy Abraham is thriving after leaving Chelsea, would be sensational for Maitland-Niles, who is at the stage of his career where he needs to play regularly.
However, it would take a special offer for Arsenal to consider a move. Partey and Elneny’s absence will leave us extremely short in the middle of the park and Maitland-Niles will become a very important player for us.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out next month. We, however, don’t expect Arteta to change his stance.