Southampton are pushing to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan with an option to buy, with Arsenal set to activate an option to extend in the player’s deal.
Football.London broke the news on Wednesday that Arsenal have an option to extend Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ contract by a year, prolonging his deal to 2024. As a result, a loan move isn’t off the table, as it previously appeared.
Football.London claimed Maitland-Niles had been offered to Southampton, with Bournemouth and West Ham United also in the running for the 24-year-old.
Sam Dean of The Telegraph confirmed that Southampton and Bournemouth were leading the race for Maitland-Niles, though he added that interest from West Ham isn’t as advanced at this stage.
Fabrizio Romano then weighed in to report that Southampton are pushing to complete the Maitland-Niles deal on loan with an option to buy.
Romano claims Southampton are looking to fight off competition from two other clubs to complete the transfer – presumably Bournemouth and West Ham.
Earlier this week, talkSPORT, ExWHUemployee, and The Beautiful Game Podcast had all confirmed that Southampton were in the race, and it appears the Saints’ interest is progressing the most rapidly.
Football.London had written last week that Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for Maitland-Niles.
The midfielder/right-back doesn’t appear to have much of a future in North London. He played some part in pre-season, but not a significant amount, and he was left out of Arsenal’s opening games of the league campaign.
But with that one-year option to extend, we may not get a final answer on Maitland-Niles’ future this week.