Ainsley Maitland-Niles could consider his future at Arsenal after reports revealed Brighton are interested in signing him.
Maitland-Niles graduated the Arsenal academy in 2014, and has become a fairly regular first team player over the past three seasons.
However, he is not yet a guaranteed starter, despite his versatility. And at the age of 22, Maitland-Niles is now eager to kick on with his career.
To do so, he may have to leave Arsenal. And according to The Mirror, he will give thought to interest from Brighton.
After securing their Premier League safety with a few games to spare, Brighton have already been busy strengthening ahead of next season. The signings of Adam Lallana from Liverpool and Joel Veltman from Ajax have provided them with extra experience.
Their next addition could be a younger player, in the shape of Maitland-Niles. The report claims Brighton are interested in the Arsenal midfielder, who knows Seagulls technical director Dan Ashworth from his former role with the FA.
Maitland-Niles was a member of the England under-20 squad that won the World Cup in 2017. Ashworth remains fond of the player from that time, and could now try to lure him to the Amex Stadium.
The Arsenal youngster is keen for more first team opportunities, after starting 15 Premier League games in 2019-20. And the club may have to cash in on him if they want to spend big on their own signings – or to give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a payrise.
Brighton are yet to make a formal offer for Maitland-Niles, but club and player would consider it if one came in. Previous reports have suggested an asking price of around £20m.
MAITLAND-NILES HAS LOST ARTETA TRUST?
Earlier this month, reports claimed that Maitland-Niles was looking for a way out of Arsenal. The reason is a trust issue with manager Mikel Arteta.
According to The Athletic‘s David Ornstein, Maitland-Niles wants to return to his preferred position of central midfield, rather than at full-back.
However, with his gametime under Arteta dropping, he feels as if he has lost the coach’s trust.