Jack Ross has hinted that Josh Maja could sign a new contract at the Stadium of Light before January.
The 19-year-old has been a revelation during the early days of Sunderland's League One campaign, having netted seven times after being given the opportunity to shine by Ross.
Such form has naturally brought the youngster into the limelight and, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, the club are keen to tie down one of their hottest prospects.
As Maja has entered the final year of his contract, he would be free to speak to other teams in January should no new deal be agreed by that point.
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But Ross is hopeful that a deal will be agreed by the turn of the year and believes that having a new contract agreed for Maja by then will be in the best interests of both the club and the player.
"It would help everybody if we could get a resolution before January,” said Ross.
"For the club and for him, it would help. You want the removal of any uncertainty, and if we can do that as a club it would help us and help Josh as well.
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“It’s like everything nowadays, these conversations don’t often take place directly between a manager and a player, but the desire for us to keep him at the club is absolutely concrete.
"That's not just because of how he has started the season, it was there from the moment I started working him."
Ross is well aware that Maja's fine form - which also saw him handed the EFL Young Player of the Month award - will have been accompanied by an increased awareness of his abilities.
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And the Sunderland boss is hopeful that the youngster will remain at a club where he is enjoying his football and will be patient in pursuing his long-term ambitions.
"Naturally his start to the season has just heightened the attention around him, so we want to make sure he stays here at Sunderland and that he plays a part in the clubs' ambitions," added the Scot.
"He'll have decisions to make when that comes around, but one thing I think about him is he is happy and enjoying his football.
"Hopefully, as a young man, he is not too much of a rush to get somewhere he may get to eventually if he keeps doing what he's doing."