Arsenal’s versatile midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles has garnered the interest of fellow Premier League side Newcastle United, who are keen on agreeing a loan deal.
Maitland-Niles joined Arsenal as a six-year-old, breaking into the senior side under Arsène Wenger in 2017. This season, Maitland-Niles – naturally a right-winger – has been used in a variety of positions and started the club’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea as a left wing-back.
However, despite a late flurry of impressive performances towards the end of this elongated campaign, Maitland-Niles is one of several Arsenal players put up for sale by the club in an effort to raise funds. Although, manager Mikel Arteta is thought to oppose this decision.
The Gunners value Maitland-Niles at £20m but Newcastle would prefer a loan deal for the England Under-21 international with an obligation to buy. Wolverhampton Wanderers are another interested party and consider Maitland-Niles a potential replacement for their right-winger Adama Traoré, if the highly sought-after speedster leaves Molineux this summer.
After securing the services of homegrown talent Matty Longstaff – following extensive contract negotiations – Newcastle are keen to bolster their midfield with FC Schalke 04’s Weston McKennie.
The latest failed takeover of Newcastle has forced the club to reassess its transfer activity in the current window. A focus on loan deals and free transfers is likely to be the most common approach as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will only tighten the purse strings further.
The United States international has attracted the attention of Liverpool and, recently, Southampton. The energetic midfielder is thought to cost in the region £20m – which would account for a healthy proportion of Newcastle’s transfer kitty.