Exclusive: Maitland-Niles told not to join Tottenham after £15m bid from club
Darren Bent has urged Arsenal not to sell Ainsley Maintland-Niles to Tottenham Hostpur.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, Bent, a boyhood Arsenal fan, believes his fellow supporters will not be able to understand if they let the 22-year-old go.
Spurs are eyeing up Maintland-Niles as a replacement for Serge Aurier who Jose Mourinho has lost confidence in, according to the Mail.
The Arsenal academy graduate is a central midfielder by trade but put in impressive displays at right back last season.
It would take an offer of £20m to prize Maintland-Niles away from the Emirates after Wolves had an opening bid of £15m rejected, according to Sky Sports.
Wolves are expected to go back in for a second bid with boss Nuno Espírito Santo seeing the versatile player as perfect cover at full back and midfield.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Asked by Football Insider whether he could see Maintland-Niles make the switch across North London to Tottenham, Bent said: “I hope it doesn’t happen.
“I think he played really well last season at times.
“He’s got the capability to play in several different positions. I can’t see how Arsenal can let that one happen, I think the fans are going to be infuriated.
“I know a lot of the fans like him down there.
“They won’t be able to understand letting him walk out of the door especially to your rivals.
“I don’t think it would go down too well.”
Maintland-Niles has played 100 times for Arsenal scoring three goals since making his debut in December 2014.
He made 32 appearances last season including the FA Cup final where Arsenal beat Chelsea to lift their 14th FA Cup.
In other Tottenham news, Football Insider can REVEAL the club are in talks to sign a forward and have been told £20m will seal the deal.