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Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles may have to wait until end of transfer window for exit as Roma loan move nears

AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES might have to wait until the end of the month before completing a loan move to Roma.

But Roma boss Jose Mourinho wants the unsettled Arsenal midfielder immediately and is pressing the Gunners for a quick release.

Maitland-Niles, 24, is eager to move to Italy to resurrect his career after managing just two Premier League starts this season.

Six of his top-flight appearances this term have come off the bench, with the player last featuring in the 4-0 defeat by Liverpool on November 20.

But with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny both away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants the England international as midfield cover in the event of an injury to Granit Xhaka or Albert Sambi Lokonga.

As a consequence, Arsenal have yet to respond to Roma’s request and no loan fee has yet been agreed.

The Serie A giants are also proposing a fee of £8.4million should they decide to keep Maitland-Niles on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

But that figure is below Arsenal’s valuation of a player who was the subject of a £15m enquiry from Everton last summer.

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So the likelihood is that Maitland-Niles will move to Rome for the next five months without the option of an agreed permanent move.

He currently has 18 months remaining on his Arsenal contract and does not believe he has a long-term future at the club he first joined as a six-year-old.

Arteta pulled the plug on a deadline day loan move to Everton in August after promising Maitland-Niles that he would get more Premier League minutes.

But those opportunities have not materialised and now the player is eager to move on.

Young striker Folarin Balogun is also set to leave Arsenal on loan this month and is currently in talks with Championship promotion contenders Middlesbrough.

But Arsenal are not looking to sell the 20-year-old and are only looking for him to gain more first team experience before returning to the Emirates in the summer.

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