Sunderland AFC news: Contract boost for Cats but worrying transfer rumours as key man exits

As the January transfer window approaches, Sunderland continue to hit the headlines as rumours aplenty circulate.

In positive news for the Black Cats, it is believed that a new contract for Josh Maja is edging closer after promising talks with Stewart Donald.

Josh Maja looks to be in line for a new Sunderland contract

Josh Maja looks to be in line for a new Sunderland contract

The striker was linked with Premier League duo Manchester City and Tottenham earlier this season, but these latest reports seem to suggest Maja's future lies on Wearside.

Our Sunderland AFC reporter, Phil Smith, provided an update on talks this morning and confirmed that the youngster is keen to remain at the Stadium of Light after his blistering start to the new season.

He said: "Negotiations are still very much ongoing but the signs are positive.

"Sunderland are obviously desperate to keep Josh Maja and as he said September, he is happy to stay and wants to get the club back to the Premier League. He has an excellent relationship with Jack Ross and is getting more game time than most 19-year-olds in the game.

"He's a very grounded character who won't have had his head turned by links to Man City and Spurs."

Two of the Black Cats' other youngsters have been linked with moves away, though, in what could prove worrying links.

Reports from the Sun suggest that Premier League duo Manchester City and Chelsea are both interested in midfielder Bali Mumba - despite the 17-year-old signing a first professional contract last week.

The same report suggests that George Honeyman is a target for Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United as they look to sustain their impressive start to the season.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper coach Jimmy Walker has left the club to join Ipswich Town in a similar role.

Walker only joined the club in the summer but quickly became a key part of Jack Ross' coaching staff - although he has now made the move to East Anglia in order to be closer to his family.

Speaking to the club website after confirming his departure, he said: "It was a very difficult decision for me, as I have loved every minute at Sunderland and it’s a fantastic club.

“Being away from my family in recent months has been challenging so I would like to thank everyone at the club, especially the manager and staff, for their understanding.

“I wish the club and the fans every success for the rest of the season.”