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.
“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.
“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