Arteta gives Maitland-Niles major vote of confidence amid transfer uncertainty

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has insisted he does not want to sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Wolves have had a £15m bid rejected for the 22-year-old midfielder and are set to come back with Arsenal likely to be open to offers to help balance the books this summer.

But Arteta gave Maitland-Niles a major vote of confidence and says he showed his faith in the player by picking him for the FA Cup final.

Maitland-Niles also started Arsenal’s first pre-season friendly at MK Dons in midweek and it would seem that Arteta does not want to let him go.

Arteta said: “Yes, we are reading a lot of news about our players 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.

“I am always open to listening to what the player is feeling at every stage of their career and then I can give them my opinion of how I see them, what I expect from them and if we have the right understanding, then we have to move forward together.

“If there is something that doesn't work then we have to assess it with the player and the club and then find the right decision for both of them.”

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Arteta has also revealed that he is ready to give Matteo Guendouzi – who could be on his way out this summer – an olive branch until he leaves.

Guendouzi fell out of favour in Project Restart and Arsenal are open to offers for the France midfielder.

Arteta confirmed he had spoken to Guendouzi and added: “To tell him exactly that he’s going to be part of the team and at the moment he’s like any other player in our squad. He deserves first of all to be treated exactly the same and I will do that to my best capability.”

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