Ainsley Maitland-Niles future: Roma eye loan deal in January for Arsenal midfielder

Ainsley Maitland-Niles future: Roma eye loan deal in January for Arsenal midfielder
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Sources told ESPN that Roma are in talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Inslee Maitland-Niles on loan during the January transfer window.

The Italian club’s sporting director, Thiago Pinto, is understood to have made contact with Arsenal to explore the possibility of signing the midfielder, who is open to a move.

Sources told ESPN Roma are keen to discuss a loan move with an option to make the deal permanent. Discussions centered around a four-year contract but so far no potential fees for a permanent deal have been negotiated.

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Maitland-Niles nearly left Arsenal last summer after he took to social media to try to force a move to Everton, posting on Instagram: “All I want to do is go where I want and where I play.”

The 24-year-old remained in north London after net conversations with manager Mikel Arteta, but continued to struggle with playing, starting just four games all season. Sources told ESPN that Everton still retained their interest in Maitland Niles and could so far rival Roma for his signature.

Maitland Niles last appeared for the club in any competition on November 20 as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool. His last start came earlier that month against Watford, after which Arteta praised his position.

“I see a different player in terms of his urgency, his commitment, the clarity of his game and his goal,” Arteta said. “Since we made the decision I was clear what I was seeing, I wanted him to stay because he would be useful.

“He has a huge talent and is versatile enough to adapt to any position on the pitch.”

Maitland-Niles came from Arsenal’s academy after joining the club at the age of six. He made 132 appearances for the club and impressed during his loan spell at West Brom in the second half of last season.


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