Championship sides firm up interest in Josh Maja as Sunderland look to secure young talents

More than one Championship side have firmed up their interest in Josh Maja ahead of the January transfer window.

Friday, 7th December 2018, 1:03 pm
Updated Friday, 7th December 2018, 1:10 pm
Josh Maja has attracted offers from the Championship
Josh Maja has attracted offers from the Championship

Sunderland have received offers from the second tier for the 19-year-old, whose contract expires in the summer.

The Black Cats have offered a new deal to the striker, who has been in sensational form this season.

A raft of sides have been linked with a swoop in recent weeks, including Bristol City and Middlesbrough.

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Sunderland are waiting on a response from Maja and his representatives with the winter window set to open in just under a month’s time.

That has inevitably raised some fears that he may leave the club, though Maja has previously said that he would be happy to stay with Sunderland as they bid to fight their way back to the Premier League, and he has also praised manager Jack Ross for showing faith in his abilities.

He is the highest scoring teenager in the Football League this season by a considerable distance, and no player in League One with five goals or more has a better goals-per-minute record.

In turn, Ross has praised the maturity of the youngster and says the speculation has ‘washed over’ both of them.

On Thursday, Ross admitted that there were no updates on the talks as of yet but speaking last week, he reaffirmed his belief that Maja would stay at the club.

“There has been continued dialogue between the board and their representatives,” Ross said.

“Like everything, sometimes these things are more prolonged but there is nothing as yet that would suggest they are not going to stay at the club, which is good.

“There are little bits and pieces that have to be tidied up, that is what the two parties are in the process of trying to do.

“The great thing for me is they are both playing well.

“There are two sides to that; one it makes them more attractive to other people but two it makes it more difficult for them to not want to be here, because why would they not want to be here when things are going well? This is a great club. It is just continuing at the moment.”

Ross is eager to keep his squad together and has said that he would be happy if there were no incomings or outgoings in January.

Talks continue with Lynden Gooch and Denver Hume, while discussions regarding a new deal have also been held with talented forward Benji Kimpioka.

The Swedish youngster has impressed in Checkatrade Trophy outings this season.