Leicester was Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ preferred destination for a loan move but Arsenal were reluctant to let him join a club they could be fighting for a European spot; Maitland-Niles’ switch to Southampton fell through
Arsenal have agreed a loan deal with West Bromwich Albion for midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
West Brom, Leicester and Southampton all held talks with Arsenal in the hope a last-minute loan deal could be agreed before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday.Sponsored link
But West Brom secured a loan deal until the end of the season for the England international, who is scheduled to undergo a medical in the next few hours.
The 23-year-old is keen on a move to the Hawthorns, where he is more likely to get game time in his preferred position in midfield.
Maitland-Niles is hoping to secure regular first-team football to boost his chances of playing at the upcoming Euros – and met with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on Monday lunchtime to try and get a Deadline Day loan deal over the line.
Newcastle were also keen on signing Maitland-Niles, although the Magpies are also in talks over a loan deal for Gunners midfielder Joe Willock and Premier League rules state a club cannot loan two players from the same team.
In the 20-minute meeting, Arteta, along with the technical director Edu, made it clear they were still willing to let Maitland-Niles leave but were reluctant to let him join Leicester, which had been the England international’s favoured destination.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to sign midfield cover following injuries to Dennis Praet and Wilfred Ndidi, and the club has held talks over a potential move for Maitland-Niles and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah.
However, Arsenal were reluctant to allow Maitland-Niles to join Leicester as they don’t want to strengthen a rival battling for the European places at the top of the Premier League.
England manager Gareth Southgate remains an admirer of the versatile midfielder but has made it clear he must be playing regularly if he is to be included in the squad for the tournament, which begins on June 11.
Maitland-Niles came close to joining Wolves in the summer transfer window but Arsenal turned down a £15m bid.
A product of Arsenal’s academy, Maitland-Niles has made 121 appearances for the club since breaking into the first-team in 2014.