Ainsley Maitland-Niles is closing in on a January switch to Roma, and a report has revealed the role an ex-Chelsea star played in proceedings.
The versatile Arsenal star, 24, had sought to leave the Gunners last summer. Maitland-Niles took to Instagram in late August in an effort to engineer a move away. Everton were linked with a loan deal, though Maitland-Niles ultimately remained in north London.
The Arsenal academy graduate was gradually reintegrated into Mikel Arteta’s plans. However, he has once again failed to establish himself as a regular.
As such, talk of a January exit begun to ramp up, and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed Roma have answered the call.
Romano tweeted Jose Mourinho’s side are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign the central-midfielder, who can also operate at full-back.
The Italian journalist stated a two-part deal of a loan with an option to buy is on the agenda.
Maitland-Niles negotiations ongoing, but deal expected
In a follow-up tweet, Romano noted the loan deal would be for six-months and the buy option would be set at ‘around €10m’. From the player’s end, Maitland-Niles was described as ‘open’ to accepting the proposal.
Romano concluded that negotiations are ‘ongoing’. Though it’s looking increasingly likely Maitland-Niles will get his move away one window later than he hoped.
Now, a report from Inside Futbol has shed light on why Maitland-Niles is Roma-bound.
Citing Italian outlet Sport Mediaset, they revealed former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has ‘played a key role’ in developments.
Abraham is one of two English players on Roma’s books, along with centre-back Chris Smalling.
Both have seen their careers rebound in the Italian capital, and Abraham reportedly spoke with Maitland-Niles about the positives of moving to Rome.
The article concludes Maitland-Niles was ‘convinced’ by what he heard from his fellow countryman.
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Arsenal star labelled signing of the season – Carragher
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has explained why he believes Aaron Ramsdale is the signing of the season.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta looked past Ramsdale’s successive relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United when bringing him to north London in the summer. Ramsdale quickly usurped Bernd Leno and has since performed at an elite level between the sticks.
Carragher, announcing him as his signing of the season on Monday Night Football, admitted that he thought Ramsdale would be back-up and only came in to add to Arsenal’s English quota. He added that the goalkeeper’s ability and personality are traits he did not know he had.
“I went for Ramsdale because it was almost the biggest surprise to me when they brought him in,” the pundit said. “I thought they would bring him in as back-up, and almost bring him in as an English player because of the quota.
“He hadn’t impressed me, certainly in his Premier League time at Sheffield United and Bournemouth. It’s not just the saves he’s made. He’s a personality and a character. Already to go into a dressing room at Arsenal. Yes there are young players in there, but it’s still a huge club.
“Going into Arsenal as a young lad, a goalkeeper. I think he’s got a presence about him that I didn’t see that he had and I think he’s had a big impact on the team.”
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