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Brighton set their sights on £35,000-a-week Arsenal defender

Brighton are considering a swoop for disgruntled Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles, according to the latest reports.

The Seagulls secured their PL status with relative ease after the coronavirus lockdown period and have already begun planning for next campaign.

With technical director Dan Ashworth pulling strings, Joel Veltman and Adam Lallana have already both completed moves to the Amex Stadium.

Former England youth international Maitland-Niles is reportedly next on the list as the player targets first-team football.

According to the Daily Mail, there is concrete interest from a host of clubs for Maitland-Niles as he weighs up his options.

The 22-year-old Englishman has three years left on his current contract at the Emirates but is often used at full-back when called upon by Mikel Arteta – who values the player.

This was best exemplified when he started versus Manchester City in the FA Cup final earlier this month during the 2-0 victory at Wembley.

Dan is very familiar with Maitland-Niles and his undoubted talents from his role in the FA, with the full-back playing a key part in England’s Under-20 World Cup winning roster in 2017.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are not ready to sell Folarin Balogun for less than £8 million this summer, according to a report.

The up-and-coming forward is out of contract at the Emirates at the end of next campaign, and Balogun is said to be seeking pastures new after refusing to put pen to paper on a fresh deal.

According to Sky Sports News, the board are happy to let Balogun advance his professional career elsewhere, but it would take a bid of £8m for the club to part ways with the 19-year-old – a sum which is considered to be high.