Leicester register late interest in Maitland-Niles

Leicester City have joined the race to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan for the rest of the season, according to the Mirror.

The 23-year-old is reportedly keen on leaving Arsenal in order to get regular game time and boost his chances of being a part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championship. The player is highly rated by the England boss but Southgate has made it clear that he will not select players who are not playing regularly at club level.

West Brom and Newcastle have shown an interest in the player but Southampton were thought to be favourites for his signature. Maitland-Niles wants to play in central midfield but the Saints have made it clear that they view him as a full back.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have entered the race on deadline day and are willing to sign him on loan with an option to make the move permanent in the summer. If he were to leave, it is thought Maitland-Niles would choose to move to Leicester as he believes it will boost his chances of playing for his country.

Arsenal rejected a £20 million bid for the player from Wolves last summer and at the end of this season, the 23-year-old will have just two years remaining on his contract with the club. The fear is that if his future is not resolved in the near future, his value will be eroded and this is something the Gunners would like to erode.

The North London club have reservations about letting him join Leicester as they view the former Premier League winners as rivals for a place in the top four. 

It is understood that Maitland-Niles will remain focussed on Arsenal if a move does not materialise this month and will see out the season with the club before looking to move on in the summer. He is hopeful that the Gunners will not stand in his way should a suitable offer be received. 

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