Report: Celtic join battle for Sunderland striker Josh Maja

Josh Maja of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers at Stadium of Light on November 17, 2018...

Celtic are reportedly in the race for Sunderland striker Josh Maja.

Josh Maja of Sunderland celebrates after he scores his teams first goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Shrewsbury Town at Stadium of Light on December 29, 2018...

According to The Chronicle, Celtic are in the race to land Sunderland striker Josh Maja, alongside a whole host of clubs in the Premier League, Championship and in Germany.

Celtic came into the January transfer window needing major attacking reinforcements, and Brendan Rodgers has already made three signings to bolster his forward options.

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Winger Oliver Burke has arrived on loan from West Bromwich Albion, with Timothy Weah and Vakoun Issouf Bayo coming in from Paris Saint-Germain and Dunajska Streda respectively.

 

However, Celtic could still land another striker, as The Chronicle report that Sunderland attacker Maja is now wanted by the Bhoys - particularly interesting as the Daily Star believe Sunderland want Celtic playmaker Lewis Morgan, meaning talks between the two clubs could happen this month.

Maja, 20, has communicated to Sunderland that he won't be renewing his contract, meaning he will be able to walk away at the end of the season.

Clubs are now keen to land him this month, with Premier League and Championship clubs keen, as well as some German teams – and Celtic may have hope of a bargain.

Josh Maja of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers at Stadium of Light on November 17, 2018...

Thanks to cross-border contract rules, Celtic would have to pay minimal compensation if they sign Maja to a pre-contract agreement, reminiscent of the deal to sign Fulham's Moussa Dembele in 2016.

With 15 goals in 29 games this season, Maja has been a star for Sunderland, so it's no great shock that major teams are interested. With Weah only on loan until the end of the season, a bargain pre-contract deal for Maja to join in the summer would make perfect sense for the Bhoys.

Intriguingly though, the rumour comes less than two weeks since Sunderland owner Stewart Donald suggested there was no truth to a spurious Twitter rumour that Maja was Celtic-bound. Things may now be changing though, as Celtic could look to strike a deal with the Black Cats.

Josh Maja of Sunderland celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Wycombe Wanderers at Stadium of Light on November 17, 2018...

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