Everton will make a fresh approach for Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles when the transfer window reopens, ESPN reports.
The Toffees were eager to land the 24-year-old on an initial loan last month, but the Gunners opted against a deal after the intervention of manager Mikel Arteta.
Maitland-Niles voiced his frustration on Instagram before deadline day, but he was convinced to stay following face-to-face talks with the Gunners head coach.
It is now reported that the Toffees could return for the England international in January. They could propose to sign him on a permanent deal from the Gunners.
Maitland-Niles has largely played in the full-back and wing-back positions for the Gunners despite citing that he prefers to play in central midfield.
It was one of the main reasons behind his loan move to West Bromwich Albion earlier this year.
Ironically, the Toffees also see him as a full-back candidate. It appears that the Gunners graduate is now willing to play anywhere for his career betterment.
Maitland-Niles is currently the fifth-choice midfielder in the Gunners ranks behind Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny.
Two of them in Xhaka and Elneny are unavailable this weekend. He could be handed the opportunity to start in the centre of the park against Norwich City.
Partey and Lokonga are obviously the desired pair, but the former has just returned from an ankle injury, and he could be eased into the first-team proceedings.
Maitland-Niles may assess his situation over the coming months before considering whether to push for a potential exit when the transfer window reopens.
It is unlikely that the Gunners will sanction an early sale in January as Partey and Elneny are expected to be absent because of African Cup of Nations duty.
However, they could be tempted to consider Maitland-Niles’ departure before the transfer deadline if there is a good offer and no injuries within the squad.
Maitland-Niles, who is valued at €16 million by Transfermarkt, will have less than 18 months left on his contract in January.
He was eyeing a move this summer to boost his game time and improve his England call-up chances. The Toffees could assure him regular starts at right-back.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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