David Moyes should be livid as West Ham United are dealt a blow in their pursuit of Josh Maja, with Fulham reportedly close to a deal to sign the FC Girondins de Bordeaux striker on Deadline Day.
According to The Athletic, the Cottagers are close to agreeing a loan move for Maja following discussions with his Ligue 1 side as manager Scott Parker strives to strengthen his attacking options.
The 22-year-old has scored nine goals in 20 league starts for Bordeaux since leaving academy side Sunderland in January 2019, but has only contributed two of those in 17 matches played this term.
Fulham’s move for Maja could yet fall through, with the Craven Cottage outfit likely first having to release another player in order to create a place for the £13,000-per-week forward in their 25-man Premier League squad.
Additional reports by the Daily Mail add that Maja emerged as a target for Fulham during discussions with Bordeaux over the transfer of midfielder Jean Michael-Seri, who completed a half-season loan move to the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday.
A lack of starts this term, opening only 11 of his 17 Ligue 1 appearances, is seen to have raised the possibility of the £6m-rated attacker leaving to secure more regular game time.
With West Ham’s interest in Maja seemingly not progressing after Moyes confirmed that he expects a quiet Deadline Day, the Irons boss should be livid to now find out that Fulham are close to finalising a deal with Bordeaux to sign a player he had courted in the current window.
The Irons have as much of an evident need for attacking reinforcements as the Cottagers do, with Sebastien Haller’s move to AFC Ajax leaving Michail Antonio as the club’s sole remaining senior centre-forward.
Fulham are exploring a deal for Maja as Bobby De Cordova-Reid is their top-scorer with five goals, as part of a mere group of seven to have found the net in top-flight games this term.
West Ham have been blessed with slightly more goalscorers with 10 players finding the back of the net, but only Tomas Soucek (7), Jarrod Bowen (5) and Antonio (5) have scored more than twice after Haller (3) sealed his £20m transfer.
Maja may not boast a prolific record this season, but he more than shone with Sunderland with 15 goals in 24 games in the first half of the 2018/19 term before leaving for life in France. He is also lauded by Black Cats icon Kevin Phillips for being a “natural goalscorer”, given his ability at the top of the pitch.
That skill has not gone away overnight following a six-goal Ligue 1 season last term, with Maja offering Bordeaux a rare bright spark in their a 3-1 defeat to Marseille earlier in the season when he struck home to deny Steve Mandanda a clean sheet.
If he now moves to Craven Cottage and rediscovers his best form, all the while West Ham are without depth behind Antonio, Moyes should be livid to have missed out on his signature.
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