Sunderland chief's admission on Portsmouth's previous interest in Josh Maja

He was one of the hottest prospects in League One last season.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 12:52 pm

And Josh Maja’s departure from Sunderland undoubtedly delivered their promotion chances a hammer blow.

The fledgling striker plundered 16 goals in just 30 appearances for the Black Cats in their first campaign back in the third tier.

With his deal due to expire at the end of the season, Sunderland were unsurprisingly keen to tie one of their prized assets down with a new contract.

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But with plenty of potential suitors elsewhere, Maja delayed putting pen to paper on a fresh deal.

And in the second series of Sunderland Til I Die, released on Netflix this morning, it was revealed that Pompey were apparently one of clubs interested.

In episode two, owner Stewart Donald and head of football operations Richard Hill were discussing Maja's contractual situation.

Hill revealed Premier League heavyweights Tottenham had run the rule over the marksman – but Pompey were seemingly also keen.

Josh Maja. Picture: Harriet Lander/Getty Images

The former Eastleigh boss said: ‘The initial offer we made Josh, we then increased it considerably.

‘The last time I spoke to Josh with the new offer, he just said you need to speak to my agent.

‘I've spoken to his agent and said "This is it, full and final". He's had it emailed, said I'll come back to you but still hasn't come back to me.

‘We're hearing all sorts. Tottenham have been to watch him six, seven, eight, nine times.

‘Was he told that Portsmouth were interested in him?’

Maja departed Sunderland in January 2019 to join Ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux for a reported fee of £3.5m

The Black Cats tried to replace the youngster with John Marquis, who moved to Fratton Park last summer.

Read about their failed attempt to sign the striker by clicking here.

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