Portsmouth promotion rivals Sunderland receive striking blow

Pompey’s League One rivals Sunderland have received a striking blow in the race for promotion.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 2:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:17 pm
Josh Maja has left Sunderland. Picture: Harriet Lander/Getty Images

Top-scorer Josh Maja yesterday completed his switch to Bordeaux.

The striker moved to the Ligue 1 outfit for a reported fee of £3.5m.

Maja had been a key player for Jack Ross’ side during the opening six months of the season.

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The 20-year-old scored 16 goals in 30 appearances, putting the Black Cats firmly in the race for an immediate return to the Championship. 

Sunderland currently sit fifth in the table, three places and four points behind Kenny Jackett’s men but have a game in hand. 

While Mackem fans could have taken solace from a significant windfall to replace Maja during the final days of the January transfer window, that may not be the case.

The Sunderland Echo has reported the club are still in discussion with Bordeaux over the exact payment of Wahbi Khazri, who made the move to the Stadium of Light from France in January 2016.

As a result, the Black Cats’ immediate cashflow could be unaffected. 

Ross does, however, still want to recruit two strikers before Thursday’s 11pm deadline. 

They have had numerous bids for Wigan marksman Will Grigg rebuffed.