Ainsley Maitland-Niles: Atletico Madrid to bid for Arsenal defender after Kieran Trippier ban

Ainsley Maitland-Niles viewed as a alternative option to Kieran Trippier, who is set to begin a 10-week ban for breaching betting rules; Arsenal defender Maitland-Niles contracted until 2023 and was subject to interest from Wolves in the summer

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Image: Ainsley Maitland-Niles' Arsenal contract expires in the summer of 2023

Atletico Madrid look set to launch a bold January bid for Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Atletico Madrid have been monitoring the versatile defender's progress for the past 12 months.

Trippier's 10-week ban for breaching betting rules is expected to see Atletico test Arsenal's resolve to keep the England international.

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Atletico are currently top of La Liga with two games in hand on rivals Real Madrid and have a rare chance to win the title for only the second time in 25 years - and need to strengthen their defensive resources in the forthcoming window.

FIFA confirmed to Sky Sports News on Thursday that the former Tottenham wing-back's ban will be implemented worldwide, confirming he will miss at least 13 games for Atletico.

Maitland-Niles has been one of the positive aspects of a difficult season for Arsenal, who sit 15th in the Premier League, just four points above the relegation places.

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Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes explains the 10-week worldwide football ban given to Atletico Madrid and England defender Kieran Trippier after he breached betting rules

Wolves came close to agreeing a £20m deal for Maitland-Niles in the summer, before Arsenal decided to keep him.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be glad he kept the 23-year old, who has received positive reviews for his performances in the 16 matches he has featured in so far this season.

Having been called up for England duty in September, the Hale End academy graduate will be aware that a move to Atletico could help cement his place in Gareth Southgate's thinking ahead of next summer's European Championships."

Contracted to Arsenal until 2023, Maitland-Niles is not one of the club's highest earners, making a deal with Atletico all the more possible.

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