Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles set for move to Wolves for £20m


Wolves are in talks with Arsenal about a deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is closing on a £20m move to Molineux. Maitland-Niles started when Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final and wants to do so more regularly. The 22-year-old’s desire to leave has alerted Wolves and they are expected to beat Newcastle to his signature on a four-year deal. On Monday, Newcastle signed the midfielder Jeff Hendrick on a free after his departure from Burnley.

Maitland-Niles came through Arsenal’s academy and made his debut in 2014. He has been in and out of the team under Mikel Arteta and has often had to make do with substitute appearances.

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Maitland-Niles has featured in a variety of positions for Arsenal, who have announced the permanent signings of Cédric Soares and Pablo Marí following loan spells, and his versatility appeals to Nuno Espírito Santo. Wolves have lost their left wing-back Jonny Otto to a serious knee injury and Maitland-Niles, who can also play in central midfield or as a full-back, has shown he can thrive in that role.

Crystal Palace are leading the race to sign Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers but face competition from Fulham for the forward. Eze is one of the brightest young talents in the Championship and is attracting interest from several Premier League clubs.

Although Palace remain favourites to sign the 22-year-old, they are yet to agree a deal with QPR, who have rejected a £12m bid and are determined not to sell him for less than £16m. Leeds and West Brom are monitoring the situation, and Fulham are interested following their promotion.

Related: Chelsea close to £90m Kai Havertz deal and expect to land Thiago Silva

West Ham are still in the hunt as well. David Moyes likes Eze, who scored 14 goals last season, and hopes to find funds for him. However, the Hammers, who are battling with Celtic for the Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy, need to sell before they buy.

Norwich have signed Jordan Hugill from West Ham in a deal that could rise to £5m. The striker, who joined West Ham from Preston for £8m in January 2018, spent last season on loan at QPR.

Leicester’s James Maddison has signed a new contract to 2024, ending speculation that he could leave having been linked with Manchester United.

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