Leicester prepare late transfer bid for out-of-favour Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on January 02, 2021 in West Bromwich, England.
Maitland-Niles wants to leave Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Leicester are plotting a late transfer bid for Arsenal utiity man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, reports claim.

Maitland-Niles, 23, is desperate to leave the Emirates this month in order to get more playing time ahead of the Euros this summer.

The Arsenal man wants to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s squad – something he feels he can’t do given his lack of playing time at the Emirates.

Maitland-Niles has started just five times in the Premier League this season and has only made one league start this month.

A host of Premier League sides are interested in his services. Southampton, West Brom and Newcastle had all registered their interest.

But Leicester are hoping to win the race to sign him, according to The Mirror.

Leicester City's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers gestures during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Leicester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 27, 2021.
Leicester boss Rodgers could sign Maitland-Niles (Picture: AFP via Getty)

The Foxes are proposing a six-month loan with an option to make it a permanent transfer in the summer.

Maitland-Niles knows he needs regular first-team football if he’s to earn his spot in Southgate’s squad and Mikel Arteta faces a decision whether to grant him an exit before tomorrow’s deadline.

Southampton are keen on a move but made it clear they are in the market for a full-back, but Maitland-Niles wants his long-term future to be in the centre of the park.

Leicester, however, would be able to offer him the chance to operate in midfield.

Injuries to Dennis Praet and Wilfried Ndidi, along with the potential exit of Hamza Chowdhury, means there are openings in the middle of the pitch.

While Leicester is his favoured choice, Arsenal would prefer him to move to Southampton to get him regular gametime in the full-back role. Maitland-Niles, according to The Athletic, doesn’t share that view.

Arsenal are not so keen, however, on him joining relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion.

They may be unwilling to let him leave full stop. With Kieran Tierney injured and a lack of cover at left-back, Maitland-Niles may be forced to stay.

However, they risk losing him at a cut-price fee in the summer, with his contract expiring a year later, and may view now as the best time to cash in if he won’t commit to a new deal.

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