According to ESPN, Roma is in talks to capture Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan during the January transfer window.
Tiago Pinto, the sports director of the Italian club, is said to have made contact with Arsenal to discuss the prospect of signing the midfielder, who is open to the transfer.
Futballnes.com has learned from sources that Roma are interested in discussing a loan deal with the option of making it permanent.
The focus has been on a four-year contract, although no money for a permanent deal has been negotiated as of yet.
Last summer, Maitland-Niles came close to leaving Arsenal after using social media to try to force a move to Everton, writing on Instagram: “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m going to play.”
The 24-year-old has remained in north London following open negotiations with manager Mikel Arteta, but he has struggled for game time this season, starting only four games. Everton is still interested in Maitland-Niles, according to ESPN, and might compete with Roma for his signature.
Maitland-Niles last played for the club in a competitive match on November 20, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 4-0 loss to Liverpool. Arteta praised his mentality during his last start against Watford earlier that month.
“In terms of his eagerness, commitment, and clarity in his play and purpose, I see a different player,” Arteta said. “Since we made the choice, I’ve been clear about what I’m seeing, and I want him to stay because he’ll be valuable.”
“He has a big talent in that he can adapt to any position on the pitch,” says the coach.
After joining Arsenal at the age of six, Maitland-Niles progressed through the club’s academy. He has 132 appearances for the club and shone during a loan spell with West Bromwich Albion in the second half of the season.