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Roker Roundup: Teen Sunderland starlet linked to Manchester City set to sign for Middlesbrough

A Sunderland Academy of Light starlet, who had looked set to join Premier League champions Manchester City, is instead headed for a move down the A19 to Middlesbrough.

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Spencer set for Boro move

Despite reports earlier in the month that Sunderland academy player Morten Spencer was set to sign for Premier League champions Manchester City, it now appears that the 14-year-old will be heading to Teeside to link up with Middlesbrough with reports suggesting that he terminated his contract at the Academy of Light.

The midfielder is of Norwegian descent and his mother told TV2 in her native Norway that a move to Boro would mean that he would not have to move and City sending so many players out on loan has made them look at alternatives:

Manchester City is one of the clubs that has shown interest. In the beginning, Morten would probably also go there, but that would mean that he had to move away from home to live and play there. Eventually, we have felt that City is such a large club with quite a few talents that are eventually sent out on loans. Therefore, we have looked at other alternatives.

It’s so close that we can stay where we live now. In the long term, we believe this is the best solution for Morten’s development.

Big day for former striker

It was a big day for former Sunderland striker Josh Maja yesterday as he finally made his Bordeaux debut and he won an award from his time at Sunderland.

The 20-year-old made his full debut for the French club as they won at home to Toulouse 2-1 in the Garonne derby.

Maja started and it took just two minutes for Toma Basic to give the hosts the lead, Yannick Cahuzac equalised with twenty minutes to go - shortly after Maja had been substituted but veteran striker Jimmy Briand won it with just eight minutes left on the clock.

Maja then won the North East Writers’ Young Player of the Year for his performances for Sunderland during 2018, an award which was collected on behalf of the player by Jack Ross. The Sunderland manager then revealed that the player had returned to the Academy of Light since sealing his transfer to leave gifts and thank you cards for staff.

Linked winger intends to stay

Sunderland were recently linked with young Motherwell winger Jake Hastie, with reports suggesting the club has gone as far as scouting the 19-year-old who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Hastie - who says he models himself on Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale - told the BBC during an interview that he hopes to stay at Fir Park so he can keep developing:

I don’t want to go anywhere, I want to stay here, keep my feet on the ground and keep progressing.

I’ve been lucky to come in straight away. Hopefully I can keep doing what I’m doing.

Motherwell won their sixth game in a row yesterday, a run that has seen Hastie score five times but ‘Well manager Stephen Robinson claims that his club have already made the best offer that they possibly can to the winger:

We haven’t got any more money to offer Jake, it is as simple as that and we will offer him what we can.

I will tell every parent that you have to play football and he has a very good coaching staff who will try and develop him, and this is the best place for him to develop. I will stand in front of any parent now and tell them that.

A few hundred pounds now will not make a big difference to his life. He could be a very good player if he keeps grounded and improving.

Jake has been to Airdrie and Alloa on loan and he went out a boy and came back a man.

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