Premier League bound Nottingham Forest to target Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Nottingham Forest are set for a return to the top flight of English football for the first time in over 20-years after securing promotion to the Premier League at the expense of Huddersfield Town, and could begin their hunt for added quality in north London after being linked with interest in Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

According to reports via the Mirror's John Cross, Forest are ready to pounce on a potential move for the Hale End academy graduate as Arsenal are said to be ready to cash in on the 24-year-old versatile England international.

Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season on loan with Serie A outfit AS Roma under José Mourinho, and took home a winners medal in the UEFA Europa Conference league after the capital outfit saw off Dutch giants Feyenoord in a 1-0 finale win. But the Gunners midfielder was unable to keep his place under Mourinho after making a strong start to life in the eternal city.

The London-native made six straight appearances after securing a January loan move, which included five starts, but was only viewed as a depth option for the rest of the season under Mourinho, and it has become painfully clear that his future remains away from Arsenal.

But his current market value of £8.5million (via Transfermarkt) would certainly be at a price point that could be too good for Forest to pass up as manager Steve Cooper will look to bolster the first-team ranks.

A deal for Maitland-Niles could come at the right time for Forest given the growing interest from Tottenham in Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence, who had a highly-successful loan spell at the City Ground last season.

Forest were said to be keen on a permanent move for Spence this summer after securing their Premier League status, but with Spurs growing in confidence of securing a move for the highly-rated defender, Maitland-Niles offers a cut-price option that comes with Premier League experience and would likely jump at the chance at securing first-team football once again after falling out of favor with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

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