According to Radio Solent’s Sports Editor Adam Blackmore, Southampton have ended their deadline day transfer hunt for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Recent reports have suggested the 23-year-old was seriously being considered by Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, with the Gunners open to letting him leave on loan.
But now, Blackmore has claimed that the Saints have ended their interest in the Premier League ace, “after becoming increasingly frustrated in negotiations with his reps”.
The journalist added however that Southampton will continue to pursue other targets.
Southampton have ended their interest in Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles, after becoming increasingly frustrated in negotiations with his reps#saintsfc will continue to pursue other targets between now & 11pm
— Adam Blackmore (@AdamBlackmore) February 1, 2021
Given the injury crisis that Southampton are in at the moment, both in central midfield and in the full-back areas, Maitland-Niles’ addition on deadline would have been a real coup for Hasenhuttl.
The Arsenal man is as versatile as they come, and would have offered the Saints boss a real stop-gap for a number of positions. The fact Maitland-Niles now won’t be coming to St Mary’s seemingly, will come as a bitter blow.
The 23-year-old would have covered a lot of bases for Hasenhuttl and ensured Martin Semmens wouldn’t have to pursue multiple deals on deadline day to try and address the number of glaring holes and issues in the Southampton squad at the moment.
It now puts massive pressure on Semmens’ shoulders to try and figure out a last-minute solution that can help ease Hasenhuttl’s concerns. At the moment, the Saints boss would be forgiven for being incredibly frustrated and angry at how things have developed.
From looking like they were going to complete a move – Football.London’s Arsenal correspondent Chris Wheatley even suggested late morning today that Southampton were “growing in confidence” over his signing – to now pulling out, it’s been a rollercoaster for Hasenhuttl. And one that won’t be leaving him happy whatsoever.