Ainsley Maitland-Niles appoints Raheem Sterling’s agent amid exit talk

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has appointed prominent British agent Aidy Ward as his new representative, Gooner Talk understands.

Ward has the likes of Raheem Sterling and former Arsenal man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on his books, while Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey was recently added to his impressive roster.

Versatile Maitland-Niles is a product of the Gunners’ academy system but has struggled to maintain a place in the first team this season under head coach Mikel Arteta.

The 22-year-old faces an uncertain future at Emirates Stadium and despite starting the first five games under Arteta, he has not featured in a matchday squad since prompting further speculation that he will be sold this summer.

His decision to appoint Colossal Sports Management as his new representatives comes at a time where the likes of AC Milan have been linked with a move for the player who has made 91 appearances for Arsenal.

Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares are all ahead of Maitland-Niles in the pecking order at right-back, and it would take a huge change of direction from Arteta to give the youngster a pathway back into the Gunners starting line-up.

With his new agent expected to secure him a big-money summer move, Arteta is likely to welcome the departure of Maitland-Niles as the club tries to raise funds due to the financial uncertainty which hangs over most teams in Europe.

Arteta admitted on Monday that the club are prioritising contract talks with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka this summer.

“We are trying, as a club, to finalise the deals that are more urgent and are a priority for us,” said Arteta.

“The ones you are talking about [Bukayo and Aubameyang] – they are both really important, not just for now but for the future of the club as well and if the club has something to announce, they will do it in the right moment.”

The Gunners are nine in the Premier League table and face Manchester City on Wednesday as English football resumes following the suspension of games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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