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According to the Mirror, Southampton and Watford are set to make moves for Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles next week.

What’s the story?

Well, the 23-year-old’s future at the Emirates Stadium is uncertain.

Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, where he unfortunately added a relegation to his CV.

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Now, the Gunners are hoping to raise some funds to spend in the transfer market, and their No.15 could be a casualty of that desire.

Mikel Arteta wants Ben White from Brighton, while there has also been interest in James Maddison – two players who certainly won’t come cheap.

In fact, Arsenal plan to spend £250 million this summer.

As a result, Southampton and Watford could be given an encouraging response when they make their respective moves next week.

With Maitland-Niles potentially available, it may come down to a straight bidding war between the two Premier League outfits.

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Will this news spark Crystal Palace into life?

Despite the fact they’re currently managerless, Crystal Palace are also interesting in signing Maitland-Niles, according to Football London.

Sporting Director Dougie Freedman is said to have enquired about the £35,000-a-week man.

At risk of losing ground to Southampton and Watford, it will be interesting to see if Freedman and Steve Parish continue this pursuit themselves.

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To do so without a manager at the helm is risky business, as Roy Hodgson’s replacement might not even want Maitland-Niles.

In our view, it’s probably best to leave any new signings until a new manager arrives.

If the 5-cap England international is signed for big money, and then left on the scrapheap by whoever replaces Hodgson, it would be a disaster.