Report: Mikel Arteta would like to keep Ainsley Maitland-Niles but being forced into sale
It appears that Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be on his way out of Arsenal this summer, not that Mikel Arteta will be happy about the decision.
That is according to a report from the Daily Mail, who suggest the Spaniard wants to keep the versatile Gunners academy product at The Emirates.
The report claims that Arteta has been ‘forced’ to put the 22-year-old up for sale with a £20 million move to Premier League rivals Wolves now looming. He would likely replace Matt Doherty at right wing-back for the Midlands club, with the Irishman set to join Arsenal’s local rivals Tottenham.
It is suggested that Arteta was eager to keep Maitland-Niles, as he believes he has a bright future in the game.
However, Arsenal need to raise funds for their own transfer activity, which will hopefully see Gabriel Magalhaes and number one target Thomas Party arrive in North London.
This report will come as no surprise, considering Maitland-Niles’ importance to Arteta’s side and their run to the FA Cup winner’s medal.
Indeed, the Arsenal manager has himself alluded to the fact that he would like the England under-21 star to remain at The Emirates.
“We are reading a lot of news about our players which is not bad that other clubs want him but with Ainsley, he’s a player that I’ve said since I joined that I really like,” Arteta is quoted by the London Evening Standard.
“The best way to show that is that I have played him in the most important games of the season and he responded really well, so that’s where we are with the player.”
However, it is clear that Arsenal needed to move somebody on this summer in order to afford any new recruits and Maitland-Niles appears to be considered expendable by the Gunners hierarchy.
Arteta might not agree, but if it means decent recruits coming in, there is no doubt the Arsenal boss will accept the decision.