In pictures: Arsenal v Sunderland
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Jose Mourinho has his sights set on Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the January transfer window as he plots another raid on the Premier League.
Arsenal star Maitland-Niles is top of the wishlist at AS Roma, where former Tottenham and Chelsea manager Mourinho is in charge.
The Special One has had his sights set on the Premier League for transfers in the past after already bringing in Tammy Abraham from the Blues.
The striker has had a fine start to life in Serie A while goalkeeper Rui Patricio was also signed from Wolves back in the summer.
And Arsenal star Maitland-Niles is now being courted by Mourinho, according to ESPN, with a loan in mind.
The report goes on to state that Roma director Tiago Pinto has identified the midfielder as an ideal option ahead of the January transfer window.
A loan with an option to buy is being prepared with a four-year contract set to be offered, though no fee has yet to be negotiated.
The England international has been largely left out of the squad under Mikel Arteta and was furious after being refused a departure in the summer.
The 24-year-old even tried to force through a move on social media when he posted on Instagram: “All I want to do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m going to play.”
Everton were keen on signing the player, who can also operate at right-back but would prefer to play in midfield.
Arteta held clear-the-air talks with Maitland-Niles, who has come up through the Arsenal academy, to convince him to stay.
But game-time has remained tough to come by after starting just four games all season with his last appearance coming on 20 November against Liverpool in a 4-0 defeat.
ESPN further report that Everton remain interested in the Gunners star and could rival Roma for his signature.
Arteta said of the player following an appearance against Watford: “I see a different player in terms of his urgency, his commitment and the clarity in his play and purpose.
“Since we made the decision I was clear with what I was seeing, I wanted him to stay because he was going to be useful.
“He has a huge talent which is he is versatile enough to adapt to any position on the pitch.”
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