Arsenal want to bring in Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves this summer and it looks like the Gunners intend to use Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a counter-weight for this deal.
The Wolves man has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in the past two weeks and according to some rumours, the Portuguese is aware of the Gunners’ interest in him and is open to a move to the Emirates Stadium.
The Birmingham Mail claims: “Arsenal are considering including Ainsley Maitland-Niles in an offer to Wolves for midfielder Ruben Neves, according to reports.”
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has come up through the ranks at Arsenal but over the course of the 2020-21 season, the midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at the club and was eventually loaned out to West Brom during the January transfer window.
Will Ruben Neves arrive in exchange for Maitland-Niles?
The Arsenal manager has made it clear that he wants to sort things up about his future and is open to moving out and joining a new side next season. And these comments have further fueled the fire that Arsenal could use him to bring in Ruben Neves.
“If I was to get a phone call from someone at Arsenal and they said they’d like a meeting tomorrow, then it would be easier that way,” Maitland-Niles said in a recent interview. “They can tell me whether they’ve got plans to play me in the future or if they want to sell me. I’ve heard they want to make some space [in the squad] and some money so I’m not sure.
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“I want a decision. I want some clarity. And then hopefully I can get to work with whoever I need to get to work with. Whether that is finding a new club or whether that is carrying on with my training.
“I would like some kind of indication of what is happening. Where they [Arsenal] see me. If it works out it works out, if it doesn’t then kiss Arsenal goodbye. It’s been a long journey but a proud one at that. Maybe they still want to do something and things could change. If not, there’s always other teams.
“It would be easier to do it now than waiting for pre-season to kick in and everything is super busy. And they can’t answer their phones because they are doing too much work. You know how the football world works.”
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With Granit Xhaka on his way to AS Roma, Mikel Arteta is very serious about signing a new central midfielder and someone like Ruben Neves will be the perfect upgrade to the Swiss international for the next few seasons.
Wolves should be ready to part ways with the midfielder if the price is right but the Gunners will save a lot of money if they can push Ainsley Maitland-Niles towards Molineux in a swap deal for Ruben Neves.
Maitland-Niles is of no use to Arsenal and if he is given the chance to play regular football at Wolves, we don’t see why he will reject a move in the coming months. But as per TransferMarkt, the Arsenal misfit is valued at £14.4 million while Ruben Neves is at £40.50 million so we think this is going to be a cash plus player deal if Wolves are willing to take in the 23-year-old and let Neves head the other way.