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Arsenal: Jose Mourinho breaks silence on Maitland Niles’ move to Roma

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Roma are closing in on signing the Arsenal star on a loan deal.

Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles is on the verge of joining AS Roma on a loan deal. The 24-year-old hopes to get more game time in Serie A as he teams up with the former Chelsea boss.

The Englishman pushed for a summer move away from Arsenal, but he ended up staying at the club. He has featured in only eight Premier League games this season as he continues to struggle for consistency.

Ahead of his side’s upcoming game against Milan, Mourinho spoke about Maitland-Niles’ potential arrival.

“I don’t feel comfortable talking about him, because nobody has officially told me that he is our player,” he said, via Football Italia.

“He grew up at Arsenal when I was at Chelsea and Tottenham, so I know him well.”

Maitland-Niles publicly expressed his wish to leave the club in the summer. However, Arsenal refused approaches from other clubs.

He said on social media: “All I wanna do is go where I’m wanted and where I’m gonna play.”

According to Daily Mirror, the English defender’s loan contract will not have any options for a permanent move. In case of a Roma move, Maitland-Niles becomes the third Premier League player to join Mourinho’s side. 

The Portuguese boss has already added Tammy Abraham from Chelsea and Rui Patricio from Wolves to his side. Mourinho’s side sit sixth in Serie A, 14 points below leaders Inter.

The Portuguese coach says his side cannot spend as much as the other Serie A frontrunners. 

“Everyone knows our transfer market profile, we cannot afford to spend the sums Atalanta and Fiorentina are shelling out in January, so we must seek one or two players on loan to improve the balance of the squad,” he added.

“For example, Rick Karsdorp always played and we didn’t have any alternatives when he was suspended against Inter, so we completely lost our way. If a player arrives for that role, we can breathe a little easier.

“The window runs to the end of the month, so if someone else arrives too, that’s even better.”

Following the Roma game, the Giallorossi will face Juventus in their next league match on Sunday.