Premier League • England

Arsenal man becomes hot property with two Prem clubs and three Saudi teams plotting cut-price deal

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Emile Smith Rowe celebrate Arsenal goal

Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles reportedly has plenty of offers as he prepares to end his long association with the Gunners, as two Premier League competitors and three Saudi clubs battle for his services.

Maitland-Niles gained promotion to the Arsenal senior squad in 2017 and went on to make 132 first-team appearances for the club, registering three goals and eight assists in that time. However, he has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates in recent years, which has resulted in loan spells with West Brom, Roma and Southampton.

On June 16, Arsenal confirmed the midfielder, who can also play as a right-back, would be allowed to leave on a free transfer this summer as they had decided against renewing his contract.

Reacting to the news, Maitland-Niles labelled his time with Arsenal ‘a very emotional journey’ and mentioned the 2020 FA Cup triumph as his favourite memory.

Maitland-Niles, who has previously won five caps for the England national team, has since been weighing up his options. And according to Sky Sports, several clubs are interested in snapping him up on a free.

Maitland-Niles has offers to stay in the Prem, with recently promoted duo Sheffield United and Luton Town ‘leading the race’ for him.

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However, Sky Sports name several other transfer rivals who are looking to get to the player first. Benfica, Werder Bremen and Galatasaray are all interested too. And Trabzonspor have taken their pursuit a step further by sending a contract offer to Maitland-Niles’ camp.

But arguably the biggest threat to Sheff Utd and Luton comes from Saudi Arabia. Three clubs in the Saudi Pro League are planning to offer Maitland-Niles a lucrative contract to take him to the Middle East. Although, the report does not reveal exactly which teams they are.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles must now decide on next career step

Maitland-Niles has taken his time deciding on his next club. However, it would make sense for him to accept one of these offers sooner rather than later, as this will allow him to take part in pre-season and bond with his new team-mates.

The 25-year-old is expected to be followed out of Arsenal by several other players, too. Gunners insider Charles Watts has explained to TEAMtalk how Cedric Soares’ representatives are actively searching for a new club for their client, with Villarreal in the mix.

And midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga is getting closer to linking up with Belgian compatriot Vincent Kompany by joining Burnley on a season-long loan.

Meanwhile, it will be one in, one out at Arsenal after Mikel Arteta’s side struck a double agreement with two different clubs.