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Everton yet to bid for young Sunderland striker

The Black Cats’ Josh Maja has attracted interest from across the Premier League

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
Josh Maja scored in Sunderland’s 1-1 home draw with Wycombe Wanderers last weekend
Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Sunderland striker Josh Maja has yet to be the subject of any offers according to manager Jack Ross, despite rumoured interest from Everton.

Maja, 19, is the Black Cat’s top scorer this season, with ten League One goals and 11 in all competitions.

Everton are among a number of top-flight sides supposedly keen on the forward, with The Northern Echo suggesting that Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Southampton are also tracking his progress.

But Ross said yesterday that any potential suitors have yet to express their interest in Maja in the form of a formal bid:

“There have been no concrete offers at this stage. He gets a bit of stick from the players and from my staff for some of the things that appear.

“I don’t think it has an impact on Josh because I don’t think he is that kind of personality.”

Ross added that his focus is not drawing away from his task of winning promotion, and admitted that the future of Maja - whose contract expires next summer - is not an immediate concern of his.

He also said that the speculation surrounding the youngster’s future is not proving a hindrance on his relationship with him:

“I kind of learned you can waste energy complaining about something or bemoaning the fact something has gone against you. It is always going to happen. You just have to find a way around it.

“I absolutely don’t get uptight about that. I spend my time worrying about how to win games, I don’t worry about the other stuff. What will be will be. That’s not to say I am blasé about it.

“In terms of the conversations I have with Josh, I speak to him all the time, he is comfortable with the relationship he has with me which is important. The situation doesn’t make our relationship strained in any way. That has shown in what he is giving us on the pitch.

Maja’s prolific form has been somewhat surprising, given he managed just one goal in 18 Sunderland appearances in a campaign which saw the club suffer relegation for the second successive year.

His only strike came in December against Fulham, the side he began his youth career with, securing a 1-0 win to end the club’s year-long wait for a home win.

The striking department will surely be the likelier area Everton will look to strengthen in the January transfer window, with their three recognised senior forwards, Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse, sharing just four league goals between them this term.