Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Ainsley Maitland-Niles, as Wolves continue to be linked with a move.
According to Sky Sports, Wolves have already had a £15m bid rejected for the 22-year-old and are expected to go back in with another offer closer to the Gunners’ £20m valuation.
Despite that, Arteta used the versatile midfielder in his side’s pre-season clash with MK Dons on Tuesday.
And speaking to football.london, Arteta, who played Maitland-Niles in both the FA Cup semi and final this year, has hinted that he hopes the player stays.
“Yes, we are reading a lot of news about our players,” he said. “Which is not bad that other clubs want him but with Ainsley, he’s a player that I’ve said since I joined that I really like.
“The best way to show that is that I have played him in the most important games of the season and he responded really well, so that’s where we are with the player.”
Matt Doherty’s Wolverhampton Wanderers exit appears to be edging closer, with reports in the national press claiming he has completed a £15m move to Tottenham.
News of Spurs’ interest only emerged earlier this week, with our sister title football.london revealing Jose Mourinho felt Doherty ‘ticked all of the boxes’ to replace Serge Aurier.
And since then, the deal has moved quickly with talkSPORT claiming that a £15m transfer between the two clubs was complete.
Neither team have made any official announcement, with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming a few details are still to be agreed.
Mike_I: I’m not sure what to make of the fact that Wolves are apparently keen to do a deal. Nice if it makes negotiations smoother but on the other hand I’d rather they were desperate to keep hold of him.
BF3: I think Wolves supporters have underestimated how much missing out on Europe hurt their finances and recruiting prospects. This feels like a necessary evil to finance other transfers.
JDM: I like that we are signing players who have premiership experience, we know what we are getting with them. We have a favourable fixture list at the beginning of the season and I think we can hit the ground running.
Stripiest Pilot : Doherty is a player who, like PEH, will have the right hunger to come and play for Tottenham. He’s not going to win anything at Wolves but with Kane and Mourinho he just might.
A huge window ahead
“In the long-term, our aims are still the same. There has not been any change.
“I’ve repeated it many times, we want to be an elite team in the world, and also a top brand in the world.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers executive chairman Jeff Shi, wasn’t shy about admitting that the club still have the loftiest of ambitions.
From a middling Championship club in 2016, Fosun immediately dangled the idea of Champions League football and challenging for major honours in the top-flight.
And four years into the project, the progress can hardly be questioned.
Last season, Wolves recorded their highest Premier League points total, while also managing a run to the Europa League quarter finals.
But following that defeat to Sevilla in Duisburg, for perhaps the first time in his tenure, Nuno Espirito Santo made it clear that the squad needed attention.
“If you look at the team that started the game, it’s the same, like the first season,” he said. “We made mistakes that we cannot repeat. We need players that can make us stronger, no doubt about it.
“It’s about making good decisions which can help us and stop us making mistakes.”
However, since that heartbreaking loss Wolves have failed to bring in a senior player. In the club’s defence, in a usual window, we would still only be at the end of May – hardly a time to sound the klaxon.
This isn’t a usual window though and in three weeks they will kick-off their third Premier League season, looking to close the gap on a top-six that looks set to only be stronger.
In fact, Wolves are facing the prospect of having one of their most regular contributors of the Nuno era, Matt Doherty, depart the club, with Tottenham set to seal a deal in the region of £15m.