According to the latest reports from the Scottish Sun, Celtic are looking to make a swoop for Sunderland’s striker Josh Maja. The report adds that the Hoops would involve either Lewis Morgan or Jack Hendry in a swap deal and either one of them could be sent on loan to the Stadium of Light. Maja has been one of the few positives to come out of Sunderland in the past two seasons as they suffered successive relegations.
The striker is currently in the final six months of his contract and has already turned down an opportunity to sign a new lucrative deal with the Black Cats. The Hoops can get him on a bargain as cross-border rules would allow them to sign him on a pre-contract deal this month which would see the striker joining the club in the summer of 2019.
With every passing day, it seems to us that Maja would stay at Sunderland until the end of the season and there is going to be a lot of scampering for his signature given his talent and form. A lot of Premier League clubs are also interested (The Guardian) in him, so Celtic might have to act quickly if they are keen on this 20-year-old forward.
The young forward has been in tremendous goalscoring form, and just midway through the season, Maja has 15 goals to his name in all competitions. Celtic have already done their business for forwards by bringing in the likes of Timothy Weah and Vakoun Issouf Bayo in this transfer window.
However, we would still recommend that Rodgers go all out for this Sunderland striker as he has the ability to thrive in the Scottish Premiership. Weah is anyway just on a six-month loan so it wouldn’t be a bad idea from the club to look for a new striker.
What sets Maja apart is his pace and dribbling skills and that even allows him to play on the right flank. To go with that, the English forward shows good composure in front of goal and has top-notch finishing skills. If one thinks about it, Maja can, in fact, be a perfect like for like replacement for someone like Moussa Dembele.
Some heavyweight clubs like Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be in the race (The Express) for this youngster’s signature therefore Celtic are going to have their task cut out. If the Hoops aren’t able to land him this month on a pre-contract deal, we don’t feel they would be able to outmuscle their competition in the summer. Therefore Rodgers needs to go all out to get his man in January.