SOUTHAMPTON will reportedly play it out with West Ham and Bournemouth to sign Arsenal outcast Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Maitland-Niles returned to Arsenal in the summer after a loan spell at Roma last season.
The midfielder failed to impress Roma manager Jose Mourinho, who decided against a permanent move.
But there is no room for the 24-year-old at The Emirates in Mikel Arteta’s side either.
And the Gunners are now more likely to benefit from Maitland-Niles before losing him for free next summer when his contract ends.
They initially touted Maitland-Niles for the Hammers, but David Moyes’ side have other targets in their sights in midfield, such as Club Brugge ace Hans Vanaken and Chelsea star Conor Gallagher.
West Ham’s indecisiveness has prompted the Gunners to close in on Southampton and Bournemouth in a bid to snap up Maitland-Niles, talkSPORT reported.
Arsenal are keen to get him off the books before the transfer window closes.
However, the Saints are showing interest in Manchester United star James Garner.
Garner’s chances of first-team football at Old Trafford this season have been reduced dramatically after the Red Devils signed Casemiro for £70million.
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But while United are ready to sell Garner, the Saints are unwilling to live up to their £14million valuation.
Maitland-Niles could be a cheaper alternative for Southampton if United continue to play hard.
In the meantime, he could be welcomed with open arms by Bournemouth, who could use his extensive Premier League experience on their return to the top flight this season.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6074185/southampton-bournemouth-west-ham-maitland-niles-arsenal-desperate/ Southampton and Bournemouth join West Ham in the transfer race for Ainsley Maitland-Niles while Arsenal are desperate to cash in