Ainsley Maitland-Niles is facing an uncertain spell at Roma as he ‘fails to impress’ Jose Mourinho in his Serie A loan stint, as the club ‘weigh up a swoop for Manchester United full back Diogo Dalot’ as his replacement
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles sealed a move to Roma after struggling for Arsenal action
- However, he has endured a difficult loan stint with Jose Mourinho unimpressed
- Reports say Mourinho is already looking at replacements for him at right back
- Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot may be a key target for next summer
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is facing an uncertain next few months at Roma after failing to convince Jose Mourinho, according to reports, with his current club now weighting up a move for Manchester United full back Diogo Dalot.
Maitland-Niles, 24, sealed his move to Italy in the winter window after struggling to earn regular minutes under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates, but he has made just seven appearances so far and been fielded in several positions.
As a result, it has been claimed that Mourinho is already looking elsewhere in his bid to strengthen the position – with Dalot, who looks to have jumped ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the United pecking order, now a target.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles is facing uncertainty at Roma after failing to impress in his loan spell
Indeed, La Gazzetta dello Sport have said that 22-year-old Dalot is viewed as an alternative to Maitland-Niles, although whether United would sell remains to be seen.
So far, Maitland-Niles has been fielded as a right back, left back and on either flank of the midfield, but he has struggled to nail down a regular position as a result.
Boss Mourinho was an admirer of the versatility of the England Under-21 international, although one appearance out on the left meant he ‘did not convince’.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly looking at replacements after Maitland-Niles’ struggles this year
His frustrations continued when he was hauled off in the Italian side’s 2-2 home draw with Verona last month, and he has not featured in their last two matches.
It is no surprise, then, that various reports have suggested that Roma may rekindle their interest in Dalot, who Mourinho recruited during his Old Trafford tenure.
Dalot has played 15 of the 28 Premier League games so far for United this season, with his appearances coming under three different managers.
It has been speculated that United may be willing to let him leave for just £8.3million, and Dalot has enjoyed a successful period in Serie A before.
Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has been linked with a move to the Stadio Olimpico
He scored twice in 33 appearances during his temporary stay at AC Milan last term.
Fiorentina have also been linked with a swoop for Dalot, meaning two domestic rivals are set to go head-to-head in a bid to secure the youngster’s signature.
Mourinho said Dalot could become United’s first-choice right back for a decade in 2018, and even name-dropped Gary Neville while hailing his compatriot.
Dalot has worked with Mourinho before, after the former United boss recruited him in 2018
‘Everybody knows that he has fantastic potential,’ Mourinho told MUTV.
‘I don’t want to compare, especially not the number of titles but he is probably the same age as Gary Neville when he came into the first team.
‘Probably he can follow Neville in this dynamic of more than 10 years as United’s right back, with amazing conditions to improve, because as I was saying he’s 19.’