Wolves holding talks over £20m Maitland-Niles
Wolverhampton Wanderers are in talks to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the Arsenal midfielder, who has made clear his desire to play more regular first-team football.
Maitland-Niles excelled in the FA Cup at the end of last season, playing a key role in Arsenal’s victories over Manchester City and Chelsea.
But the 22-year-old had started only one league game since midJanuary after falling out of favour under manager Mikel Arteta.
Maitland-Niles is under contract at Arsenal until 2023, putting his club in a strong negotiating position. It is thought Wolves would have to pay about £20 million to secure his signature.
Their pursuit of Maitland-Niles comes after wing-back Jonny Otto suffered a serious knee injury during the Europa League match against Olympiacos this month. Maitland-Niles prefers to play as a midfielder rather than a full-back, but has insisted he would even play in goal if that was what his manager wanted.
Arsenal will reinvest any money they make in sales this summer, with Arteta and technical director Edu keen to bolster the midfield.
Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey remains a target, while they have been linked with Lyon’s Houssem Aouar.
They are also hopeful of securing another season-long loan for Dani Ceballos, the Real Madrid midfielder.
A fee of about £20 million for Maitland-Niles would help to cover a significant part of the initial £22.6 million that Arsenal have committed on Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.
It is understood that Gabriel was at Arsenal’s training base yesterday to complete his move from France.
The timing of the transfer is complex because of quarantine rules affecting travellers from France, but it is understood that Arsenal are working under strict medical supervision.
Frustrated: Ainsley Maitland-Niles wants first-team action so could move to Wolves