As reported by multiple sources, AS Roma have held talks with Arsenal over the possibility of signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles this month. The discussions have resulted in a concrete offer for a transfer of the 24-year-old, consisting of an initial half-season loan with an option to turn the move into a permanent one in the summer for €10 million. Arsenal are currently thinking it over, before giving their answer.
Maitland-Niles is a product of Arsenal’s academy; he’s been on their books his whole career so far, though he had loan spells with Ipswich Town as a teenager, and with West Bromwich Albion during the second half of 2020-21. In all competitions, he has represented the club on 132 occasions, scoring three goals and recording eight assists.
A player of considerable versatility, Maitland-Niles prefers to play in the middle of the park, but he can also do a job on either flank, either in an attacking or a defensive role. However, manager Mikel Arteta obviously prefers to have specialist players in his lineup, which has resulted in Maitland-Niles starting just twice in the Premier League this season, along with six appearances off the bench. His only goal contribution was an assist in a 6-3 win over West Brom in the Carabao Cup back in August last year.
As for Roma, head coach Jose Mourinho is keen to strengthen his ranks as soon as possible, with his team facing a tough battle for top-four placement in the Serie A as well as the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League. If no agreement with Arsenal is reached by the end of this week, the club are expected to move on to alternative targets.