Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is lining up an ambitious move for Bordeaux forward Josh Maja this summer, according to The Mirror, via ChronicleLive.
The one-cap Nigeria international spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham in the Premier League, where he scored three times in 10 matches but the Cottagers did not trigger the permanent option in the deal, which was thought to be around £9 million.
Maja made his name at Boro’s nearby rivals Sunderland, graduating through their academy after a two-year scholarship and it was in the Black Cats’ 2018-19 League One season where he shot to prominence, scoring 15 goals in 24 league outings before being snapped up by Bordeaux in a deal worth up to £3.5 million.
But his time in France so far has been somewhat unsuccessful as he returned to England last season temporarily after just two goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches in the first half of the campaign.
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Maja could now be set for a permanent switch back to these shores, but the report claims that Bordeaux would need to drop their asking price if Middlesbrough are going to do a deal – that though could be possible due to the French side’s financial situation.
It would be quite a surprise if Middlesbrough were able to do a deal for Maja – he seems like a player who if given the chance could flourish in the Premier League at one of the lower-end teams.
Fulham clearly saw something in him to have a £9 million clause in his loan deal but relegation to the Championship probably scuppered that deal becoming permanent.
Maja hasn’t had the best time of things at Bordeaux and a return to more familiar surroundings in England may be what he needs to revitalise his career – bear in mind that he’s just 22 years old though and has time on his hands to develop.
You feel as though a loan deal would be more doable for Boro this summer, but if Bordeaux lower their asking price enough then Neil Warnock could potentially do one of the best permanent deals in the Championship this season if he manages to bring Maja to Teesside.