Manchester United have been linked with a shock £20m move for Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles, though the club have denied the rumours, according to reports.
United are in desperate need of reinforcements having made only one signing this summer window – Ajax midfielder Van de Beek – while Arsenal need funds to pursue their transfer targets.
Maitland-Niles was expected to be sold, coming close to signing for Wolves in a £30m deal earlier this summer, though Arteta chose to keep hold of the player.
But, the gunners have struggled to find buyers for their other surplus-to-requirements players, with Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and Calum Chambers yet to be sold.
With Arteta desperate to land either Houssem Aouar or Thomas Partey, the Arsenal manager may have been forced into a U-turn over the sale of Maitland-Niles.
On Wednesday, Sport1 claim United had made an approach for the 23-year-old and were in advanced talks, with the Red Devils likely to pay an initial fee of £20m plus some other bonuses and add-ons.
But, the Manchester Evening News claim United officials are adamant there is nothing in the reports and they will not be signing the youngster, instead focusing their efforts on completing a deal for Porto’s Alex Telles.
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United have been frustrated in their efforts to sign the left-back, with talks stalling over a fee for the defender, and Maitland-Niles would tick a number of boxes for Solskjaer’s side.
Maitland-Niles has been playing as a left wing-back for Arsenal recently but is also capable on the right of defence, providing a more attack-minded alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and can play in a couple of midfield roles.
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has long been a big fan of Maitland-Niles, saying back in 2018: ‘He looks absolutely fantastic. It’s so early in his Arsenal career and to play in huge matches out of position… to show that quality and confidence – it’s great to see.’