Man United transfer rumours: Red Devils keen on signing Arsenal man

Ainsley Maitland-Niles in action for West Brom amid interest from Man United in the Arsenal man

According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United have shown an interest in signing Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

What's the latest transfer news involving Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

The versatile Arsenal midfielder, who can also play right back, has been linked with a move to Premier League rivals Man United by the Daily Mail.

Maitland-Niles has spent the 2020/21 season on loan at top flight strugglers West Brom, who have been relegated to the Championship in what is Sam Allardyce's first demotion from the Premier League as a manager.

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Have Man United shown an interest in Maitland-Niles before?

According to Sport 1 journalist Florian Plettenberg, United were on the brink of signing Maitland-Niles for £18.9m last summer and the deal and paperwork were 80% completed.

Despite Man United's reported interest, the move never came to fruition and the 23-year-old remained at the Gunners until January, when he was sent on loan to get valuable game-time at West Brom.

What are Maitland-Niles' stats this season?

The England international has appeared 12 times in the Premier League for West Brom predominantly at the heart of their midfield.

Whilst on loan at West Brom he has shown he is a multi-faceted midfielder with strengths in both defence and attack. According to WhoScored, he has made 1.8 tackles per league game which is fifth highest of anyone that has featured in five games or more for the Baggies this season.

At the other end of the pitch he has also been a threat with 1.3 dribbles, the second highest average in the squad, and he has unleashed 0.8 shots per game.

Where would Maitland-Niles fit in at United?

According to the Daily Mail, Man United see Maitland-Niles as a backup option to Aaron Wan Bissaka at right-back - a position that the Red Devils are desperately lacking in, with their only deputy being Brandon Williams who has played most of his senior football at left back.

However, despite United's apparent interest, Maitland-Niles appears far more focused on establishing himself as a midfielder. 

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According to the Athletic, the 23-year-old was determined to prove that his future is in midfield as oppose to defence when he agreed the move to the Hawthorns. They reported that discussions over his position played a major part in deciding to join West Brom, while talks with Southampton broke down as it became apparent they wanted him to feature at full-back. 

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