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Roker Roundup: ‘Au revoir, Josh!’ Maja nears Sunderland exit after completing Bordeaux medical

Sunderland’s top scorer Josh Maja is nearing the exit door after completing his medical with French side Bordeaux, but his soon-to-be new manager has suggested he may not be ready for their first team just yet.

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Bordeaux manager discusses Maja

Sunderland striker Josh Maja is on the verge of a £3.5m move to Ligue 1 side Bordeaux after the 20-year-old underwent his medical in the French club’s Haillan base yesterday.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Lamine Kone’s Strasbourg, Bordeaux’s manager Eric Bedouet discussed Maja’s impending arrival.

Bedouet said that he his that his team need a goalscorer but due to the physical aspect of Ligue 1, cautioned that Maja may not have the quality to be first team ready as it stands:

We knew him a little bit, I think we do not have time to look too much, we are focused on the field, to prepare the team. But we have a sufficiently professional team, specialists who take care of that. We knew him a little.

His profile? We need a scorer, that’s what we need. Apparently, this season he scores goals. After, the game in France is different, there are plenty of things difficult to manage like that. It is a physically difficult championship, you have to be very strong in front and have the quality of a goalscorer.

It’s a young player, knowing that a young player does not have that quality right now, it gets ready, it improves, it is fine...But it’s a young talent.

Gillingham v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Lawrence on Leadbitter

Former Sunderland midfielder Liam Lawrence has been talking about Stoke City’s interest in Middlesbrough’s Grant Leadbitter in his column in the Stoke Sentinel.

The Boro midfielder and Sunderland academy graduate is close to a return to the Stadium of Light, despite being linked with Tony Pulis’ old club.

Lawrence says that he does not expect to see his old team-mate head to the Bet365 Stadium as he would love a return to Sunderland:

I don’t expect my old Sunderland team-mate Grant Leadbitter to be heading to Stoke City.

Now at Middlesbrough, Stoke are one of the clubs being linked to the 33 year-old midfielder.

He was a youngster coming through when I was at Sunderland and everyone was raving about him at the time.

He’s good technically, has a good engine and is a good professional, but his age surely counts against him where Stoke are concerned and I think he’d love a return to Sunderland, who are interested.

Sunderland v Atletico Madrid - Amsterdam Tourmament Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Surprise interest in Rodwell

Jack Rodwell only joined Blackburn Rovers in the summer after being released by Sunderland but despite not being a regular for Tony Mowbray’s side, he has attracted interest from elsewhere.

According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Rodwell is being tracked by Serie B strugglers Livorno.

The England centre-half hopeful has only featured 10 times for Blackburn in the league this season.

Meanwhile, Danny Graham says he is loving life at Blackburn after a difficult time at Sunderland and that has translated to on-pitch performances with the striker scoring 18 times in 2018:

It probably was [my best year for some time]. Not just the goals, but the assists and all-round play was probably the best it’s been in a long time.

I got a lot of assists in there as well and it’s given me something to work towards in 2019.

I would say this is one of the happiest times (of my career). My spell at Swansea was great but coming here on the back of my Sunderland experience where nothing seemed to go to plan and get my career back on track, Blackburn is a special place and I’m delighted to still be around.

Swansea City v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

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