"I've never heard of him' - Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson issues stunning response to Sunderland ace Josh Maja query

Josh Maja.
Josh Maja.

Crystal Palace are among several clubs credited with an interest in Sunderland striker Josh Maja - yet manager Roy Hodgson claims he's "never heard of him".

Crystal Palace are among several clubs credited with an interest in Sunderland striker Josh Maja - yet manager Roy Hodgson claims he's "never heard of him".

The 15-goal top scorer has been making headlines all season following an impressive campaign leading the Sunderland attack in League One.

Despite that, Hodgson said he was unaware of Maja and didn't follow Sunderland or spend his time watching Sunderland play.

Maja is attracting interest from clubs in the Championship and Premier League after it was revealed on Friday that he had been advised by his agent not to sign the contract offer on the table.

His current deal runs out in the summer and Sunderland want him to stay but his future at the club is now in real doubt.

Jack Ross insists he hasn't been told he has to sell Maja this month but the Black Cats may be forced to cash in on him this month to avoid losing him for free, and nominal compensation, in the summer.

Palace, Huddersfield and Cardiff, Spurs and Manchester City are among the clubs credited with an interest in Maja.

Yet speaking following Palace's 1-0 win over Grimsby in the third round of the FA Cup, Hodgson said he knows nothing of the Sunderland man.

Hodgson said: "I've never heard of him. I don't follow Sunderland and his name has not been mentioned to me.

"I'm not going to stand here and answer questions about individuals and names.

"The fact is it's not my job to scout players. I'm sure if you ask our scouting department and our head of scouting about Josh Maja, he would tell you chapter and verse about him.

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"But no one has mentioned his name to me, I don't spend my time watching Sunderland play."

Huddersfield boss David Wagner was also asked over the weekend about a possible interest in Maja.

He said: "I don’t like to discuss any individuals because we will then maybe sit here for a longer period."

Speaking generally about January, he added: "Everybody knows the circumstances we have at our football club - that we financially are not at the top of the hierarchy.

"We will see what we can make happen and what we cannot make happen."