Roma on Verge of Landing Arsenal Misfit on Loan

Roma and Arsenal are reportedly in advanced talks over Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan move to the Stadio Olimpico ahead of the January transfer window. According to renowned Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the Giallorossi have made progress in negotiations to sign the versatile midfielder with an option to buy.

Maitland-Niles has been a peripheral figure at the Emirates Stadium this season. After making just five Premier League appearances, the 24-year-old is keen to depart north London in favor of regular first-team football elsewhere, with several English sides monitoring his situation in the capital. 

He spent the second half of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, but the Baggies failed to turn his move permanent following relegation to the Championship. The player returned to Arsenal, where he has struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular under Mikel Arteta. He is now looking to find a new environment to get his career back on track as Roma seem ready to pounce. 

The Italians are in the market for a new full-back to replace long-term absentee Leonardo Spinazzola. Roma’s primary target for the January transfer window has been Manchester United misfit Diogo Dalot. However, new interim boss Ralf Rangnick looks set to throw the ex-Milan man a lifeline at Old Trafford at the expense of first-choice right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

After making it abundantly clear that he has no intention of letting Dalot leave Manchester this winter, Rangnick has forced Roma to search for a new wide defender elsewhere. The Giallorossi have wasted no time finding an alternative solution as they appear to be a step away from completing Maitland-Niles’ arrival from Arsenal.

Rick Karsdorp has been Jose Mourinho’s only option at the right-back position in the first half of the season. A lack of options at the back could be one of the reasons Roma will start a new calendar year sixth in the Serie A standings, six points adrift of fourth-placed Atalanta.