Black Cats fear Maja exit

Sunderland fear young striker Josh Maja could follow in the footsteps of England sensation Jadon Sancho by moving abroad on the cheap after talks over a new deal stalled.

The new ownership regime at the promotion-chasing Black Cats has spent the last four months trying to broker an agreement with the 20-year-old Londoner, who is out of contract in the summer.

But the club have been unable to get an answer from Maja’s agent and are now running the risk of fighting for compensation if the player walks away at the end of the season.

Maja, who scored his 14th goal of the season as Jack Ross’ side beat Blackpool 1-0 yesterday, shares the same advisers as England sensation Sancho.

Sancho, 18, quit Manchester City to join Borussia Dortmund last summer and his brilliant Bundesliga form has seen him win his first England cap.

City banked just £8million for Sancho from Dortmund in a deal which will also see the Premier League champions paid 15 percent of any future sell-on fee.

The winger’s stunning impact prompted the Germans to cash in on Christian Pulisic today, when they sold the American international to Chelsea for almost £58million.

Maja has been watched by several Premier League scouts this season and the Wearsiders will look to sell the £5million-rated forward this month if contract negotiations remain deadlocked.

Maja arrived at the Stadium of Light from Fulham on a three-year deal in 2016 and also spent time with Crystal Palace and Manchester City when he was a schoolboy.

Ross has continued to select Maja during the contract stand-off and Sunderland will not sanction his departure unless the price is right as they look for an instant return to the Championship.

(Image: newcastle chronicle)