Crystal Palace to watch Maja
There has yet to be any significant interest in the services of Josh Maja, despite the young striker’s contract wrangle with Sunderland.
That may change soon however, as the Guardian’s Ed Aarons claims that Crystal Palace’s Sporting Director Dougie Freedman will be in attendance at the Stadium of Light tomorrow as we take on Luton Town in League One.
Freedman will reportedly be there to watch Maja as the Eagles weigh up an approach for the 20-year-old.
This is despite Palace manager Roy Hodgson claiming earlier in the week that he had never even heard of Maja, despite his club’s apparent interest.
Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman will watch Sunderland's Josh Maja on Saturday as they weigh up an approach for the 20-year-old striker— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) January 10, 2019
Shankland going nowhere
Lawrence Shankland is a striker in demand due to his goalscoring exploits in the Scottish Championship this season, with Sunderland one of the clubs reported to be tracking the player.
But the player, who had a spell under Jack Ross at St Mirren, will not be leaving Ayr United this season according to their manager Ian McCall.
McCall put out a statement on the club’s official website to reveal that they had received a ‘derisory’ offer for one of their players and that they will not be selling any player during this transfer window unless that sale involves the player being loaned back to Ayr for the remainder of the season:
To all our supporters.
Having recently received yet another offer for one of our players, which at best can be described as derisory, I wish to let you all know the following facts.
There has been a number of bids for our players however NO player will be leaving Somerset Park during this window. The only type of deal acceptable to our club would involve an immediate loan back to Ayr United.
There may be a number of our players being offered pre-contracts by other clubs. I have absolutely no issue with this and I am 100% certain that any player who takes this option will continue to give everything to Ayr United. They will also be informed that pre contracts in Scotland are not recognised by the SFA and are therefore worthless.
Though I will never give up hope of keeping our squad together at the end of the season I recognise that there will be departures. Any player who leaves will go with the very best wishes of everyone connected to Ayr United.
Wherever we finish in the Championship our supporters deserve to watch this special group of boys till the end of the season. Hopefully this will put an end to any speculation through various media outlets and allow us to concentrate on football matches.
Wigan sign forward
Sunderland’s hopes of signing Will Grigg may have received a boost yesterday after Wigan Athletic completed the signing of Republic of Ireland forward Anthony Pilkington.
The 30-year-old has signed an 18-month deal with the Latics after leaving Cardiff City by mutual consent.
Sunderland may have work to do if they are to bring Grigg to the Stadium of Light, as journalist Alan Nixon claims Wigan rejected their £200,000 bid for the striker who cost around £1m back in 2015.
SUNDERLAND. Bid for Will Grigg is ‘up to’ £200,000. And that is not a misprint. WIGAN said no.— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) January 10, 2019
Now the season has passed the half way point, betting company bwin have handed out some half term awards, with Sunderland featuring in the League One section.
Those awards revealed that Chris Maguire is the single biggest match winner in League One, with Sunderland winning more games (19%) with the forward in the side (75%) than without him (57%).
Andrew Shinnie of Luton Town is second in the list and Dujon Sterling of Coventry City is third.
The report also says Sunderland have won the most games from a losing position in the division, as Jack Ross’ side have picked up 17 points in the 11 games they have gone behind in this season.
Wycombe Wanderers (12 points from 15 games) and Peterborough United (11 points from 12 games) are second and third respectively.