Video: Ipswich Town in advanced negotiations with teenage Arsenal winger
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Ipswich Town are in advanced negotiations to sign teenage Arsenal winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles on a season-long loan.
It has been reported the 17-year-old winger – who has made three first team appearances for the Gunners – is imminently set to sign, but the EADT and Ipswich Star understands that a deal has not yet been finalised.
Primarily a right-sided wideman, but who can also play central midfield, the London-born youngster joined Arsenal’s academy aged nine and broke into their Under-21 side during the 2013/14 season.
He signed a pro deal at the Emirates Stadium in October 2014 and made his senior debut as a half-time substitute in last season’s 4-1 Champions League group game win at Turkish side Galatasaray.
Maitland-Niles also made first team appearances from the bench against Newcastle in the Premier League and Hull City in the FA Cup.
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A number of other Championship clubs have also shown interest, but Blues boss Mick McCarthy – keen to add some attacking threat to his midfield following the club’s best season in a decade – leads the chase.
Town are believed to be targetting two wide players, a striker and, potentially, a natural right-back following their sixth-place finish and play-off semi-final defeat to rivals Norwich City.
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Paul Anderson, Stephen Hunt, Noel Hunt, Richard Chaplow, Darren Ambrose, Elliott Hewitt, Anthony Wordsworth, Jack Marriott and Paul Taylor have all departed the club this summer, though the first five could yet be offered new terms depending on what business can be done.
McCarthy built his Championship title-winning Wolves side around attack-minded wingers Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly and he his primary goal this summer is to add players in that mould.
Skipper Luke Chambers – who prefers playing at centre-back – has been operating at right-back over the last 18 months, while a fourth striker would add competition alongside recent 27-goal Championship top-scorer Daryl Murphy, the fit-again David McGoldrick and successful mid-season addition Freddie Sears.