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Roma open talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Roma have opened negotiations with Arsenal over a January deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, ESPN reports.

The 24-year-old was desperate to leave for regular game time last summer, but Mikel Arteta blocked his exit.

Everton wanted to sign him on a temporary deal, but Arteta had no plans of sanctioning the move.

His situation has not improved since with just two Premier League starts, and he appears keen to move on.

Roma have now opened talks with the Gunners’ hierarchy over an initial loan for the club graduate.

The Giallorossi are ready to include a buy option. Maitland-Niles is open to a fresh challenge in Serie A.

Our view:

Maitland-Niles has hardly played over the past few months, but the Gunners may still be reluctant to offload him.

They are set to lose the services of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny in January due to African Cup of Nations duty.

That would leave Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only central midfielders other than Maitland-Niles.

Arteta tried to play Martin Odegaard in the role earlier this term, but the Norwegian did not excel with flying colours.

Hence, Maitland-Niles could be denied a mid-season exit. He may need to wait until the summer for a move.

The situation could completely change if the north London giants manage to land a replacement in advance.

Lille’s Renato Sanches has been heavily linked with the club. The player is reportedly aware of the interest.

Read: Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Norwich City, Takehiro Tomiyasu returns.

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