Sunderland confirm Josh Maja exit to Bordeaux in £3.5million deal
Josh Maja has completed his move to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
Sunderland have sold the 16-goal top scorer after it was confirmed he would not be signing a new deal at the Stadium of Light, the 20-year-old's contract was due to expire in the summer.
A short Sunderland statement read: "Josh Maja has completed a move to Bordeaux.
"The 20-year old Sunderland AFC academy graduate has joined the French Ligue 1 side on a permanent basis."
Eric Bedouet, Bordeaux manager, suggested the 20-year-old - who has scored 16 goals for Sunderland this season - would not walk straight into his side and described the French top flight as a "physically difficult championship".
The Black Cats - aiming to replace him with prolific Wigan Athletic striker Will Grigg - could have held onto Maja until the summer but then they would have only been due a vastly-reduced compensation fee, around £300,000, had he moved on a free.
In the end it was decided it was best all round to sell Maja this month after it was made clear the contract offer would not be signed. Josh Maja scored his last goal for Sunderland in the 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United.
Ahead of his move to Bordeaux, Bedouet told reporters: "We knew him a little bit, I think we do not have time to look too much, we are focused on the field, to prepare the team.
"But we have a sufficiently professional team, specialists who take care of that. We knew him a little.
"His profile? We need a scorer, that’s what we need. Apparently, this season he scores goals.
"After, the game in France is different, there are plenty of things difficult to manage like that.
"It is a physically difficult championship, you have to be very strong in front and have the quality of a goalscorer.
"It’s a young player, knowing that a young player does not have that quality right now, it gets ready, it improves, it is fine. But it’s a young talent."