Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles was a target for Barcelona but Mikel Arteta blocked a move to LaLiga

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Barcelona were reportedly interested in Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer but Mikel Arteta blocked the youngster’s move to the Spanish giants.

The versatile midfielder was widely expected to leave the club at the beginning of the window and was said to be on the chopping block as Arsenal looked to raise funds for their top targets.

Arsenal were ready to cash-in on Maitland-Niles this summer but decided against it

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Arsenal were ready to cash-in on Maitland-Niles this summer but decided against it

However, his superb display in the Community Shield against Liverpool seemed to convince the club to keep hold of him.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano said that Arteta played a key role in keeping the 23-year-old at the Emirates amid interest from LaLiga giants Barcelona.

Barca were on the hunt for a new right-back and enquired about Maitland-Niles before eventually signing Sergino Dest from Ajax.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for their Premier League clash with Man City.

Aubameyang has scored just once in Arsenal’s first four Premier League games of the season

Getty – Pool

Aubameyang has scored just once in Arsenal’s first four Premier League games of the season

The Gunners captain withdrew from the Gabon squad with a sprained ankle this week.

Aubameyang has scored just once in Arsenal’s first four Premier League games of the season

Gabon boss Patrice Neveu confirmed Aubameyang’s injury.

He told RFI: “Aubameyang suffers from a small sprained ankle, contracted on Sunday, during the Premier League match against Sheffield.

“The Arsenal doctor sent me a certificate indicating his unavailability. He is in care for a week.”





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