Sunderland Echo - - Front Page - By Phil Smith [email protected] @Phil__Smith

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

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, in­clud­ing Bris­tol City and Mid­dles­brough.

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.

Maja has pre­vi­ously said that he would be happy to stay with the club as it bids to fight its way back to the Pre­mier League, and has reg­u­larly praised man­ager Jack Ross for show­ing faith in his abil­i­ties.

He is the high­est scor­ing teenager in the Foot­ball League 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, 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 talks have also been held with tal­ented for­ward Benji Kim­pioka.

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

Josh Maja.

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