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Agent Roberto De Fanti has lifted the lid on Arsenal utility Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ move to Roma.

The England international joined Roma on a straight loan to June last week.

“The timing of the deal was fundamental to get it done, this was an urgent situation for Roma,” De Fanti told Teleradiostereo.

“If Ainsley does well, the two clubs will talk again and reach an agreement to make it permanent, but Niles is currently on a dry loan.

“There had been interest over the summer, then from the moment Mikel Arteta was clearly making different choices, he decided to play elsewhere. Roma, who were tracking the situation, remembered him and we resumed talks recently.

“The first thing Niles did, as soon as the possibility of a move to Roma emerged, was to call Tammy Abraham, who convinced him to come straight away.

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“He started out as a centre-back, then his pace saw him become a full-back. He can also take penalties and has never missed from the spot in professional football.”

De Fanti was also asked about the prospect of Roma returning to Arsenal for Granit Xhaka.

“You can say anything in the transfer market. There is a good rapport between the clubs, we’ll have to see what the situation is five months from the end of the season,” he concluded.


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