Josh Maja has said he wanted to stay at Sunderland before he move to Bordeaux.

The 20-year-old made the move to the French Ligue 1 side in January for an undisclosed fee and penned a four-and-a-half year deal at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

Maja, who broke into Sunderland’s first team as a teenager, scored 17 goals in 49 appearances in all competitions for the Black Cats.

He has opened up about his switch to France, as per a report by the Sunderland Echo: “It was a bit of…it was up and down. Basically, I wanted to stay. Given the right contract, I would have stayed.”

“But at the time, I don’t think Sunderland were prepared to give me what I wanted so when the opportunity to play in one of Europe’s top five leagues came up, I couldn’t turn that down. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one which to improve my career and my game I think I had to make.”

He added: “I have ambitions in my career and in my life and this is just a stepping stone for me. I want to keep pushing and fans need to understand what players want for themselves. Even though that is a bit selfish, it’s a selfish game, isn’t it? For me it was important to make that move and playing at a higher level, it’s a given.”

Maja has scored twice in 12 appearances for Bordeaux so far this season and made his international debut for Nigeria in September.

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