According to the Chronicle Live, Sunderland manager Jack Ross has said that top scorer Josh Maja wants to remain with the Black Cats, despite failing to sign a new contract.
The 20-year-old’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and with a host of club’s interested in signing him, he has been given until the end of the day to sign a new deal.
However, in this situation, the onus is on owner Stewart Donald rather than Maja. Donald must back Ross and Maja and table a deal that entices the striker to stay, with a promise of Championship football, or even higher. Sunderland are in a very good position at the moment in League One, and are one of the favourites to earn promotion. With 14 goals, Maja is only one behind the league’s top scorer, Doncaster’s John Marquis, and is spearheading the club’s journey back to the Championship. To lose him now or at the end of the season would be catastrophic for the club, as they look to have a player that could achieve great things at the Stadium of Light.
Indeed, from purely a business perspective, Sunderland will want to tie down this contract as he has in no way reached his potential yet. Letting him go cheaply this month, or even for free at the end of the season, would be a pecuniary disaster. If Maja is ever to leave, Donald would surely want to wait a few more years where he can make the most profit.
But from a footballing perspective, Sunderland’s manager and fans have ambition, and Donald must reflect that. They do not want to become a club that sells its top talent, otherwise they will have a miserable future.
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