Mourinho: ‘I know Maitland-Niles well’

Jose Mourinho said he ‘knows Ainsley Maitland-Niles very well’ as the Arsenal man is undergoing his Roma medical in London ahead of the loan transfer.

The deal has been done for a reported €500,000 plus another €500,000 in performance-related bonuses, with the Giallorossi covering his salary for the full six months.

There is no option to buy at the end of the season, so this will be purely a dry loan until the end of the current Serie A season.

According to multiple reports including Sky Sport Italia, Maitland-Niles is today having his medical tests in London at the Arsenal training centre.

The 24-year-old can play as a right-back, right-wing-back or even in midfield.

Transfer news live rumours and done deals as Maitland-Niles set for Roma medical

“I don’t feel comfortable talking about him, because nobody has officially told me that he is our player,” said Mourinho in today’s press conference when asked about Maitland-Niles.

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

“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.”

Maitland-Niles has played 11 games in the Arsenal jersey so far this season, contributing one assist in the EFL Cup.

Roma are set to visit Milan at San Siro on Thursday evening when the Serie A season resumes.

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