According to a report from the Daily Mail, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has identified unlikely rival defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles to replace Serge Aurier in an ‘audacious’ transfer swoop – with the latter man being recently linked to AC Milan.
Aurier, who has become a polarising figure in north London since putting-pen-to-paper in 2017, often attracting criticism from supporters, could part ways with the club three seasons after joining for £23 million.
Should Spurs sign Maitland-Niles?
Yes, get it done
Milan are reportedly waiting in the wings, with negotiations at an ‘advanced‘ stage, and Tottenham have apparently already identified a replacement.
Rival defender Maitland-Niles, who has been shifted to right-back at times at the Gunners, has warranted praise for his performances recently and Spurs are alleged admirers.
So far this window, Tottenham have secured deals for both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Joe Hart, both of whom cost a combined total of just £15 million plus bonuses.
It appears chairman Daniel Levy won’t stop there, either, with Maitland-Niles now on the radar as Mourinho plots a summer transfer overhaul.
Deals between the two north London rivals are few and far between, but the Gunners youngster could join the likes of Sol Campbell and William Gallas who have made the direct switch most recently.
Perhaps what most attracts Mourinho’s interest is Maitland-Niles’ versatility, with the 22-year-old able to play in a variety of positions including right-back, left-back, further forward on both flanks and in central midfield (WhoScored).
Ex-Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere certainly believes this marks him out as a truly top prospect, claiming it is what makes him a ‘priceless‘ asset.
If Aurier does end up leaving for Serie A, it appears the defender could be a viable heir.
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