Sources: Roma keen on Maitland-Niles loan deal


Romaare in talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan during the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN.

It is understood the Italian club’s sporting director Tiago Pinto has made contact with Arsenal to explore the possibility of signing the midfielder, who is open to the move.

Sources have told ESPN Roma are keen to discuss a loan move with an option to make the deal permanent. Discussions have centred around a four-year contract but as yet no potential fee for a permanent deal has been negotiated.

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Maitland-Niles almost left Arsenal last summer after taking to social media in an attempt to force through a move to Everton, posting on Instagram: “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m going to play.”

The 24-year-old stayed in north London following clear-the-air talks with manager Mikel Arteta but he has continued to find game-time hard to come by, starting just four games all season. Sources have told ESPN Everton still retain an interest in Maitland-Niles and could yet rival Roma for his signature.

Maitland-Niles’ last appearance for the club in any competition was on Nov. 20 as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool. His last start came earlier that month against Watford, after which Arteta hailed his attitude.

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

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

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

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