According to The Sunderland Echo, West Ham are planning on a £3m bid for Sunderland striker Josh Maja this month.
The Hammers would then loan him back for the next 18-months as he continues his good progress with The Black Cats in League One.
Maja has managed 15 goals in 25 league games this season, and at the age of 20, he is seen as one of the most promising stars in England at the moment. However, should he arrive at West Ham now, it is very unlikely that he would feature at all behind Marko Arnautović and Javier Hernández, should both of them stay at the London Stadium after this January.
On the other hand, Maja is a cornerstone of the Sunderland team, and is probably their best chance of earning promotion back to the Championship this season. By keeping him for another 18 months, not only would Sunderland benefit immeasurably, but Maja would probably develop far quicker with regular playing time.
With rumours emerging that Arnautović may be leaving the club in the summer now, The Irons will need to find a replacement. Of course, with an 18-month contract, that means that Maja would not be that man. But the 20-year-old may not be ready to fill the sizeable hole left by the Austrian anyway.
However, after next season, West Ham would surely think that Maja would be ready to team up with a squad that is already showing a huge amount of promise. With Declan Rice and Issa Diop currently at the club, both in their early 20s, The Hammers will have a formidable squad for years to come.
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