Championship side Middlesbrough have been offered the chance to sign former Sunderland forward Josh Maja, although his asking price may be out of Neil Warnock’s reach according to the Northern Echo.
Maja, 22, moved to the French side from League One club Sunderland in February 2019 after scoring 14 league goals in the first half of the 2018/19 season, being given the chance to shine after the Wearside outfit’s relegation to the third tier.
But despite playing in a reasonable number of games for Bordeaux, the forward has failed to nail down a regular starting spot in Ligue 1 and was loaned out to Fulham in February this year for the remainder of last season.
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Maja scored three goals in 15 Premier League appearances but couldn’t stop the West London side from being relegated back to the Championship – and this is where the 22-year-old may also find himself next season with Middlesbrough in line to secure him.
Second-tier rivals Fulham did have a chance to sign Maja for £9m in the summer as part of the loan agreement – but opted against this move after their relegation and the Teesside club are unlikely to cough up a similar fee for the forward.
As per the Northern Echo report, a loan deal is more likely at this stage – and a similar set fee may be inserted into the loan agreement in case Middlesbrough win promotion and can free up the funds needed to secure a permanent deal.
Although three goals in 15 league appearances is not the best record, it would be interesting to see how Maja would do in the Championship after excelling in League One a couple of seasons ago.
The second tier could be the perfect level for him at the moment but, as the report states, there’s little to no chance of Boro negotiating a permanent deal for Maja at this stage. Even if Bordeaux are willing to reduce their price, it’s unlikely to be to a point where Neil Warnock’s side can afford him.
A cheap loan deal could still be on the table though – and Maja could be keen on a return to England after enduring a mixed time in France. The main barrier here is likely to be Bordeaux and their asking price, not Maja’s wages and other personal terms.