Arsenal board overrule Mikel Arteta after disagreement over Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Arsenal board overrule Mikel Arteta after disagreement over Ainsley Maitland-Niles


Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to leave Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is set to leave Arsenal this summer after the Gunners’ board overruled Mikel Arteta’s plea to keep the versatile youngster.

The 22-year-old is a product of the club’s Hale End academy and is keen to continue his development with the Gunners, despite falling out of favour under Arteta.

The Spaniard had appeared to deem Maitland-Niles surplus to requirements but the defender’s end-of-season form, where he starred in the FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City, convinced Arteta that he had a future at the Emirates.

Arteta made this point to his board but the club are under pressure to raise cash this summer and have overruled the Spaniard’s decision by putting Maitland-Niles up for sale, report the Telegraph.

Arteta is believed to have made the case that Maitland-Niles could prove crucial next season given Arsenal will be competing in the Europa League and he will therefore need a bigger squad to deal with the congested fixture list.

However, the Gunners’ board think they can raise as much as £20m from selling the defender and they fear that his value will plummet if he stays for another 12 months.

Maitland-Niles is valued at £20m by Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arteta, wary to start the summer on a bad footing, accepted his board’s decision as he understands their need to balance the books.

Everton and Brighton are both said to be interested in Maitland-Niles, who would ideally like to revert to his favoured position in central midfield if he leaves the club this summer.

The 22-year-old is unlikely to be the only high profile name leaving the club this summer, with the Gunners putting the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira and Shkodran Mustafi in a desperate bid to raise cash.

Arsenal announced a £27m loss in March, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the Premier League into suspension.

With the Gunners failing to finish in the Champions League for a fourth successive season,the club announced 55 redundancies to staff yesterday.

The decision has been roudnly criticised, particularly given outcast Mesut Ozil earns £350,000-a-week and didn’t feature in a single match after the restart.

Arsenal are also confident of agreeing a new £300,000-a-week deal with star striker Pierre-Emerick AUbameyang but reports claim some players will speak to the club about the redundancies.

MORE: Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin open to a new challenge as Mikel Arteta plots summer sales





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