28/12/2021; 8:09 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Roma is in advanced discussions for a loan move for the Englishman with an option to buy.
The winter transfer window is upon us, and clubs are working tirelessly to plug the holes in their squads ahead of the second half of the season. It is rare to see high profile transfers in January as most teams want to get players that will tide them over till the season ends.
The new rule that allows players to play for new clubs in a competition they have already featured in that season was to forestall this, but it seems that clubs aren’t willing to take the risk. Not many clubs expect to make forays into the transfer market, especially with finances hampered by Covid-19.
Roma are, however, in the market for cheap alternatives as they look to bolster their squad for the second half of the season. The Italian club has eyes on Arsenal player Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
It has not been plain sailing for Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Arsenal as he has struggled for game time at the London club.
The situation has remained the same for the Englishman. Arsenal and Roma are in advanced discussions for Maitland-Niles to move to Serie A. Recent talks between both clubs have accelerated, and Maitland-Niles might be joining Roma in January.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, talks between the two clubs continued on Boxing Day, and a loan deal all but agreed. Maitland-Niles will join Jose Mourinho at Roma on loan, with a permanent move to be sealed in the summer. Di Marzio reports that Roma and Arsenal have had in-depth talks over Maitland-Niles, but have yet to agree on loan terms and fees.
If Maitland-Niles moves to Roma, it will bring the number of Englishmen at the Italian club to three, with Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling already at the club.
Maitland-Niles has struggled to tie down a place in the Arsenal team and was set to leave in the summer but was convinced to stay by Mikel Arteta. Despite staying at the club, he has seen first-team chances hard to come by, with Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Lokonga ahead of him.
Maitland-Niles can play in several positions and did well in his short stint with West Brom last season. He almost joined Wolves in the summer, with the deal-breaking down following talks with Arteta.
Promises from Arteta have yielded nothing, and the feeling of being undervalued has set in. Maitland-Niles will look to find succour elsewhere, with Roma currently posing an exciting prospect.
The success of Tammy Abraham at the club should motivate Niles to want the same. Maintland-Niles will become the second Arsenal player to have caught Roma’s interest, following their pursuit of Xhaka in the summer, before the Swiss went on to sign a new contract.
Arsenal need such a versatile player, and Arteta will loath losing him to Roma.