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Southampton want Maitland-Niles

Southampton want to sign Arsenal utility layer Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The academy graduate is about to turn 25, and is looking to play regular football, something that seems unlikely under Mikel Arteta for whom he has become very much a fringe player.

He has been offered to various clubs in the transfer window, including West Ham United and Bournemouth, but it is Southampton who have now emerged as favourites to sign a player who had an unsuccessful loan spell with Roma last season.

Initially it will be on loan, but there is likely to be an option to buy clause included in the agreement.

With Nicolas Pépé’s move to Nice, also on loan, now fionalised, it means the only other out-going from the Emirates that needs to be managed before transfer deadline day is Hector Bellerín, although the player’s preference is to return to Real Betis, his boyhood club, back in Spain.

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