Roma in advanced transfer talks with Arsenal over loan deal for wantaway midfielder

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Roma are in advanced talks with Arsenal over signing Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan, football.london understands.

The 24-year-old was persuaded to stay by manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu last summer when Everton made a late attempt to sign the versatile midfielder.

Maitland-Niles posted on social media at the time: “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m going to play.”

He hasn’t featured for Arsenal since the 1-0 win over Watford at the beginning of November, earning praise from Arteta in the process.

“First of all, I see a different player in terms of his urgency, his commitment, the clarity in his play, his purpose,” the Gunners manager told reporters.

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“Since we made the decision, it was clear what I was seeing that I wanted him to stay, because he was going to be useful.”

Roma boss Jose Mourinho is an admirer of Maitland-Niles and football.london understands the Hale End academy product has already spoken with Tammy Abraham who joined the Italian giants from Chelsea last summer.

A loan fee and terms of the deal still need to be agreed before the signing is sanctioned, but Maitland-Niles’ keenness on securing his Arsenal exit is likely to be accepted this time around.

“When I see him in training sessions, when I see how he prepares, when I see the questions he’s asking, his level of attention. Everything you talk through, his response is immediate. He’s a really clever boy, really clever, really intelligent,” said Arteta.

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“I think he needs to able to transmit that, and how much he cares, with his body language and his determination. He’s come a long way.”

Maitland-Niles did benefit from Granit Xhaka’s injury layoff as he made five appearances across all competitions in the Swiss midfielder’s absence.

Despite that, only two were as a starter with Albert Sambi Lokonga the preferred option alongside Thomas Partey.

Source by Football London

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