Nottingham Forest are reportedly viewing Arsenal winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a replacement for Djed Spence.
The Reds are looking for a new right-sided wing-back to fill the gap left after Spence returned to Middlesbrough following his stellar loan spell at the City Ground. The Boro man’s incredible performances – providing three goals and five assists last season – has resulted in strong transfer interest from Tottenham, Forest and clubs overseas.
Tottenham have yet to lodge a formal bid for Spence and the two sides are claimed to be well apart in their valuations of the England youth international. In the meantime, Spence has been told to prepare himself for pre-season with Boro if no deal can be struck.
Forest, meanwhile, are reportedly looking at Maitland-Niles as a possible candidate to fill that right-sided spot. Earlier this month it was reported that Forest view the Arsenal man as a transfer priority with staff at the Emirates “ready to sell” the 24-year-old. The Daily Mail have added to those reports by explaining the role he would have should he end up at the City Ground.
Maitland-Niles has one year left on his deal at the Emirates and Arsenal may be looking to move him on for a fee now rather than risk losing him next summer for nothing. He remains keen to play regularly which is something Forest would be able to offer following their promotion to the Premier League.
Signing Maitland-Niles could be quite a move for Forest given boss Steve Cooper and Maitland-Niles have a relationship stretching back a few years. The 24-year-old has played for England at every level from under-17s up to the senior team, he was also a part of the under-20s World Cup winning squad from five years ago. Cooper knows of Maitland-Niles through his own involvement with the FA, including coaching England under-17s to the World Cup in 2017.