Ainsley Maitland-Niles has reportedly been put up for sale by Arsenal as the Gunners desperately try to raise cash this summer.
The 22-year-old, who was a key figure on the left of midfield in Arsenal’s recent FA Cup win, has become the first high-profile casualty of Arsenal’s cost-cutting.
The Sun reports that Arsenal desperately need to raise some finance to fund the new contract their are offering to Pierre-Emerick Aubaumeyang.
Maitland-Niles made 32 appearances for Arsenal this season, including nine following the restart after the enforced break due to Covid-19.
The paper claim that Maitland-Niles “was clearly highly thought of by Mikel Arteta” but the Spaniard has had to sacrifice the midfield in order to rebuild his squad.
In fact The Telegraph claim that Arteta wanted to keep the talented player, but the board have overruled him and made him available for transfer.
Gunners officials have told Arteta he needs to raise funds in order to reshape his squad and the sales of Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi will not raise much capital.
The club are looking for around £30m for Maitland-Niles, who graduated the Arsenal academy in 2014.
Last week The Mirror, claimed Brighton were keen on the player and they could make a move for the player.
The Sun reported in June that Arsenal were ‘willing to sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles,’ with a £20m fee touted.
That fee has now risen by £10m, as he looks like being the first player to be offloaded after the club announced 55 redundancies to permanent, non-playing staff this week.
Aubameyang deal close
Meanwhile, Arsenal are on the verge of extending Aubameyang’s contract by a further two years to keep him at the club until 2023, according to a report.
Speculation has mounted in recent months over the Gabon striker‘s future. The 31-year-old has entered the final year of his current deal, heightening such uncertainty.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said previously it was the club’s top priority to tie Aubameyang down. The striker netted 29 goals this season, scoring in the semi-finals and final of their triumphant FA Cup campaign.
An initial report claimed Arsenal’s initial offer would include a £250,000 weekly salary, £50,000 more than his current wage.
Now, The Telegraph‘s latest report says the offer will likely be worth more than that and include “lucrative bonuses”.