Report: West Ham United and Fulham keen on Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Arsenal FC v Standard Liege: Group F - UEFA Europa League
Arsenal FC v Standard Liege: Group F - UEFA Europa League

According to The Sun, West Ham United have shown firm interest in versatile Arsenal player Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but they face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Crystal Palace.

The Gunners are looking to make around £30 million by selling the England youth international as manager Mikel Arteta looks to invest in new players this summer, but they could be willing to do business for £20 million.

Hammers boss David Moyes wants to boost his options at full-back ahead of the new campaign, and Maitland-Niles could prove to be an upgrade on what he has at right-back and left-back.

The Arsenal academy graduate is primarily a midfielder, but he has played at both left and right sides of the defence since making his first-team debut, and it’s why he won’t be short of suitors.

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho also admires his versatility, but it’s almost impossible to see Maitland-Niles agree to join his bitter rivals and Arsenal won’t be keen to strengthen their fellow North London giants too.

Fulham want to strengthen their squad after sealing an immediate return to the top-flight, and the 22-year-old will definitely be a great addition, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to meet the Gunners’ and the player’s personal demands.

West Ham boast of a squad capable of challenging for the top eight, and that could attract Maitland-Niles.

They currently have no identified first-choice right-back after both Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia left, and the Arsenal man will fancy his chances of having a guaranteed starting berth to himself at the London Stadium.

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