Josh Maja is reportedly ‘expected’ to leave Bordeaux this summer with Mick Beale’s Rangers in pursuit of at least one new striker. 

Beale, when confirming that Alfredo Morelos would leave Ibrox upon the expiry of his contract, left no one in any doubt about his desire for an injection of fresh blood.

“Certainly for us, in those positions, we need to bring some new faces in,” the Rangers boss said back in May. 

As things stand, Cyriel Dessers appears the most likely addition. Rangers, Calciomercato say, are in advanced talks to sign the Cremonese poacher for a fee of up to £4.2 million.  

Dessers’ arrival would not necessarily draw a line under the pursuit of Josh Maja, however. Because while the former is more of a classic number nine – he won the Eredivisie Golden Boot at Heracles and scored 20 times at Feyenoord in 2020/21 – Maja has proven himself capable of thriving in a more withdrawn role at Bordeaux. 

Photo by JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP via Getty Images

The former Sunderland youngster has almost been utilised as a ‘number ten’ at times; Maja’s awareness, intelligence and technical ability highlighted by the fact he set up six goals last term while scoring 17 of his own. 

Could Josh Maja join Rangers this summer?

Maja’s outstanding return was not enough to fire Bordeaux to promotion, however. Les Girondins finished third, and will be denied the chance to challenge the relegation play-off with France’s top flight being cut down from 20 to 18 teams. 

FootMercato reported a few weeks ago that, if Bordeaux had been promoted, Maja would likely have signed a new contract at the Matmut Atlantique. Now, however, he is ‘expected to leave’ rather than spend another year in France’s second tier, per France Bleu. 

“My goal? Going to Ligue 1 next year,” Maja told RMC Sport podcast, translated by Ma Ligue 2. “Then, we will see what happens.” 

The 24-year-old – who has had mixed loan spells at Fulham and Stoke City – will instead become a free-agent at the end of the month now.

“This really is the most consistent season I’ve had since arriving at Bordeaux,” adds Maja, who moved across the Channel in a £3.5 million deal four years ago. “I have fun, I like the way I play and the most important thing is that we play well and win games.” 

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