According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Newcastle United and Arsenal held talks about a deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles yesterday, and the versatile player is expected to make a decision in the coming hours ahead of the January transfer window deadline.
The Magpies are keen to bring the England international to St. James’ Park on loan for the rest of the season, but they are not the only ones interested in recruiting his services.
Leicester City, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion are also after the 23-year-old, and a move to Newcastle has been ranked as one with an outside possibility.
Manager Steve Bruce is looking to bolster his squad following his side’s recent slump, and he is also keeping an eye on Maitland-Niles’ teammate Joe Willock.
Arsenal want the player to be deployed at full-back if he joins any club on loan today, but the player has a strong desire to play in midfield.
He is keen to join Leicester ahead of Newcastle and others, and if a move there falls through, there is a good chance he will choose to remain at Arsenal until summer.
Newcastle could do with a player that can play in midfield and as a full-back right now, and landing Maitland-Niles would be a huge move.
The Arsenal man can help bolster their goalscoring chances in the final third given his creativity and verve, but a move to St James’ Park does not look likely, with both player and club having different ideas.
The Gunners would like him to join Southampton who are willing to include an obligation to buy in the loan deal, and Newcastle might just have to look elsewhere for their man.
With safety far from being guaranteed, the Magpies could do with quality additions today in order to improve in the second half of the campaign, and it will be interesting to see whether any moves are made.