Arsenal transfer news: Gunners target Patrick van Aanholt as Leicester prepare Ainsley Maitland-Niles bid

Arsenal are set to prioritise player exits on deadline day

Callum Rice-Coates
Monday 01 February 2021 11:18
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Arsenal could let several fringe players leave the club on a deadline day likely to be focused more on outgoings than incomings.

The Gunners have already secured the bulk of their new signings, with Omar Rekik, Mat Ryan and Martin Odegaard all brought in.

Mesut Ozil's departure could be followed by the potential exits of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, while discussions have been held over the premature termination of Shkodran Mustafi's contract.

Manager Mikel Arteta may yet to strengthen his options at left-back, too. Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt is believed to be a target, but the Athletic claim no contact has been made from Arsenal.

The Netherlands international has just six-months remaining on his contract at Selhurst Park and Arteta reportedly wants additional cover for first-choice Kieran Tierney. Whether Arsenal will make a late move remains to be seen, though it appears Van Aanholt will be available for a cut price.

Bukayo Saka has been utilised in that role, while utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to be the subject of a late bid from Leicester.

The Mirror report that the 23-year-old is reportedly "desperate" for more regular first-team football as he looks to force his way into Gareth Southgate's plans for the summer's European Championship.

Southampton, West Brom and Newcastle are also interested, but Leicester are set to make a loan offer before the close of the transfer window.

Meanwhile, Newcastle want to sign midfielder Willock, according to the Daily Mail. The 21-year-old is reportedly eager to play more often and could make a loan switch to St James' Park.

But Arsenal are concerned about a potential lack of depth in the squad, particularly if Nelson, linked with Unai Emery's Villarreal and their La Liga rivals Real Betis, leaves the club alongside Maitland-Niles.

Another Arsenal midfielder, Lucas Torreira, looks to be staying put, despite recent claims that his loan at Atletico Madrid could be terminated.

The Uruguay international has been on the periphery under Diego Simeone and there had been talk of a potential switch to Fiorentina.

But La Nazione claim that Atletico, runaway La Liga leaders, are reluctant to lose Torreira, who will stay in Madrid until the end of the season.

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