Arteta comments on Arsenal transfer plans ahead of January window
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Jose Mourinho is aiming to revitalise Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ career after Roma agreed a deal to sign the Arsenal midfielder on loan until the end of the season. Maitland-Niles has been on the fringes of Mikel Arteta’s side and will move to Roma in search of more regular game time.
The 24-year-old has made just four starts for Arsenal this season after seeing a move away from north London to Everton fall through in the summer transfer window.
Maitland-Niles has 18 months remaining on his contract with the Gunners, his link up with Roma does not appear to contain any option to make the move permanent.
Roma had initially wanted to agree a transfer for Maitland-Niles, but they would have had to sell Pau Lopez, Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Under to fund the deal.
According to The Athletic, he has not yet agreed personal terms with the Italian club and still needs to undergo a medical and receive a work permit.
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Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Roma will pay a £417,000 (€500,000) loan fee, as well as the same amount in bonuses for his services.
Roma are keen to get the deal over the line as quickly as possible, with crucial Serie A fixtures against AC Milan and Juventus on the horizon this week.
While Maitland-Niles is open to the Roma move, he would have also stayed put this month had Mourinho’s side not pushed ahead with the loan.
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However, he is now looking forward to trying to kick start his career under the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager.
The Athletic reports that Mourinho is eager to follow the blueprint Roma laid out when they signed Tammy Abraham from Chelsea in the summer.
Roma paid the Blues £34million to sign Abraham on a five-year contract and he has immediately become a key player in Italy.
The 24-year-old striker has scored six goals in 18 Serie A starts and 12 times in 24 appearances altogether so far since moving to the Italian capital.
He started just 12 times for Chelsea in the Premier League last season and was encouraged to venture abroad in search for increased opportunities.
The transfer helped Abraham achieve an England recall in November, something Maitland-Niles no doubt also desires.
The versatile Arsenal player has earned five Three Lions caps, but all of those came in a three-month spell between September and November 2020.
Maitland-Niles was extremely frustrated when Arsenal prevented him leaving the club in the summer transfer window.
“All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play,” he wrote on Instagram, tagging Arsenal in the post.
Arteta later excluded him from first-team training as punishment, but it seems he will finally get his wish at Roma.
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