Southampton ‘pushing to sign’ Arsenal man ‘on loan with buy option’ – two rivals also interested

Lewis Oldham
Southampton linked-Maitland-Niles

Southampton are reportedly one of three Premier League teams interested in signing Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan.

You may be surprised to hear that Maitland-Niles is still at Arsenal with just over a week of the summer transfer window remaining.

The Englishman had a spell on loan at Roma last term. This proved to be unsuccessful as he often found himself on the bench under Jose Mourinho.

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Maitland-Niles has made it no secret that he sees himself as a centre-midfielder, but his versatility has hampered his progress somewhat.

The 24-year-old has not been given a consistent run in the team in one position as he has been used all across midfield and at full-back.

Nottm Forest were linked with Maitland-Niles at the start of this transfer window but they ended up looking at alternative targets.

The Englishman may end up getting a fresh start at another Premier League club though as West Ham, Southampton and Bournemouth are all interested in him.

Hammers boss David Moyes told reporters on Wednesday that it has been difficult to sign British players this summer:

“We’ve bid for a lot of players and if I told you who, you would burst out laughing and say ‘you’re kidding’.

“Maybe we’ve tried to go way above our station, but we have tried to get really top players because I knew we needed it.

“For us a couple of top players coming in would give everyone a lift and help ease the pressure on Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek.”

He added: “I think it probably tells you how little there is out there to buy, certainly British players. I think it’s been easier to do business abroad,” Moyes said.

“Any of the British players, the prices have been really, really big for them. If you’re talking about trying to get the best-looking newcomers, who will be at the club for the next six, or seven years, it will cost you big money, so that’s been a hard thing.”

Sam Dean of the Daily Telegraph is reporting that Southampton and Bournemouth are the sides ‘leading the chase’ for Maitland-Niles.

He is ‘expected’ to leave Arsenal, while West Ham’s interest in him is ‘not as advanced’ at this stage.

Fabrizio Romano meanwhile is reporting that Southampton are ‘pushing to sign’ Maitland-Niles.

A ‘loan with a buy option’ is likely with the player’s contract at Arsenal due to expire in 2024. He adds that the Saints are ‘insisting on beating’ rivals to the signing.