Wolves in Advanced Talks to Sign Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Ross Jackson
Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to leave the Emirates
Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks set to leave the Emirates / Pool/Getty Images

Wolves are understood to be in advanced talks with Arsenal regarding a move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with Mikel Arteta open to offers for the youngster as he begins the rebuild of his Gunners squad.

Nuno Espírito Santo is keen to bring in reinforcements to Molineux this summer following a gruelling 2019/20 campaign which saw his squad become increasingly stretched, as they looked to compete both domestically and in Europe.

The Portuguese tactician has pinpointed the central midfield and full-back positions as areas requiring attention, and the versatile 22-year-old would offer backup on both counts.

Maitland-Niles is rumoured to be nearing a move to Wolves
Maitland-Niles is rumoured to be nearing a move to Wolves / Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images

The club’s need for defensive cover was highlighted further in their Europa League win over Greek side Olympiacos earlier this month, with Jonny Otto suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury which is set to see him sidelined for between six to nine months.

Despite having three years left on his current deal at the Emirates Stadium, Maitland-Niles is said to be surplus to requirements at the club, despite making 20 Premier League appearances last season and starting in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.

Arsenal will entertain offers of £20m for the England Under-21 international, as Arteta looks to generate funds before pursuing his own transfer targets.

A product of the Gunners youth system, Maitland-Niles signed for the club aged six and has gone on to make 100 appearances in all competitions.

However, despite being deployed in a number of positions both defensively and in midfield, the youngster has failed to hold down a permanent spot in the Gunners starting XI, with the signings of Cédric Soares and Kieran Tierney seeing him fall further down the pecking order.

Wolves aren’t the only side keen on securing the youngster’s signature, with Everton, Newcastle and even north London rivals Tottenham said to be closely monitoring the midfield man.