West Ham United are reportedly the favourites to sign Arsenal player Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer. The Hammers are ahead of Merseyside giants Everton in the race to sign the England international who has been playing for West Brom. According to the publication from the stables of The Sun, West Ham United are at the front of the queue to sign the 23-year-old utility player.

The Daily Mail confirmed the interest of Everton in the Arsenal loanee. Maitland-Niles is on loan at West Brom from the Gunners and he has been a regular in the Baggies line-up. He has played in his preferred midfield position at West Brom.

Southampton also wanted to sign Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal when he left the North Londoners to sign for the Baggies but the Saints were not ready to give him playing time in the middle of the park. The South Coast club saw him as a fullback and not a midfielder. To this effect, the Arsenal player shunned the Saints in favour of a move to struggling West Brom during the January transfer window.

Maitland-Niles was unable to save West Brom from relegation after it was confirmed by the 3-1 defeat at parent club Arsenal last weekend. He was unable to play the game due to the terms of his loan transfer.

Willian wrapped up the points for hosts Arsenal with a second half free-kick after West Brom midfielder Matheus Pereira had pulled one back in the opening minutes of the second half. The Baggies had trailed at half-time to goals from young England junior national team player Emile Smith-Rowe and Nicholas Pepe.

The aforementioned report from The Sun claimed that West Ham are ahead of Everton in the race for Maitland-Niles because they are ready to offer him a midfield berth which he craves while Everton see him as a fullback.