Wolves are in advanced talks with Arsenal over the permanent signing of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, though there’s still a way to go yet after Arsenal rejected their formal offer.
Sky Sports reported on their Transfer Centre page that Wolves are in advanced negotiations with Arsenal over a four-year deal for Maitland-Niles. Nuno Espirito Santo wants to strengthen in midfield and at full-back, so Maitland-Niles suits perfectly.
David Ornstein added that Arsenal and Wolves still need to agree a fee, and club and player still don’t have a deal on personal terms either. But Wolves are closing in and look like completing the transfer this week.
Now, the Ornacle is back with another update:
Wolves made formal offer (below £20m) for Ainsley Maitland-Niles yesterday. Rejected by Arsenal as they seek higher fee for versatile 22yo. Among other interested clubs, 2 in Germany understood to be preparing bids. Background for @TheAthleticUK #WWFC #AFC https://t.co/CxhbX2McWn
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 26, 2020
Initial reports (from The S*n) suggested Arsenal wanted £30m for Maitland-Niles. We’re still waiting on more reliable reports on the club’s asking price, though.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the sale. As a close follower of the academy, I’m always sad to see a long-serving graduate leave the club, particularly when they look to have the talent to play in the first team.
What’s more, I thought Maitland-Niles finished the season well. He made a few appearances towards the end of the campaign and didn’t disappoint in any of them.
Yet he’s not a starter, his performances haven’t always been that consistent and he’s a player with very good value. Arsenal need money to buy the players they’ll count on more regularly and this sale is one way of raising it.
It’s a shame, but also what the academy is for. Producing players at a low cost and then moving them on to somewhere they can have a good career whilst raising money for improvements to the first team.
You want some academy players to stick around. But with most of them, this is the best-case scenario. So it’s hard for me to get too worked up about it.