Arsenal will make Ainsley Maitland-Niles available for transfer this summer as the club bid to raise funds, despite manager Mikel Arteta’s desire to keep the midfielder at the Emirates.
The academy graduate is attracting interest from sides across the Premier League with the likes of Brighton and Everton reported to have made enquiries for the versatile star, Maitland-Niles having performed in a variety of roles since coming through the club’s ranks.
Maitland-Niles has made 32 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this season and impressed as the north London side won the FA Cup with victory over Chelsea last weekend, though will now be made available for transfer as Arsenal look to raise funds amid the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal this week announced plans to make 55 staff redundancies as the club bid to cut costs in the current climate, and hope the sale of Maitland-Niles will help cover costs of potential additions as well as a contract renewal for club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – the forward close to agreeing new terms on a three-year deal worth a reported £250,000-a-week.
According to the Telegraph, Arsenal value Maitland-Niles ‘upwards of £20m’ and will hope his versatility and potential will attract a sizeable offer for his services, even though Mikel Arteta ‘would prefer to have Maitland-Niles next season’.
Arteta is desperate to strengthen his squad as he bids to return Arsenal to the Champions League next season, with Willian set to become the club’s first signing of the summer on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea.
Amongst the other areas of concern are the additions of a new central defender and midfielder, the north London outfit having been strongly linked with moves for Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.