JACK ROSS insists there has been no offers for Sunderland’s £6m-rated leading scorer Josh Maja, with hope still high the player will sign a new contract and stay at the Stadium of Light for the longer term.

Ross is realistic to know money talks in modern football and the Black Cats could be powerless to prevent the talented teenager from leaving if a big offer arrives from a higher league.

This week there have been suggestions Tottenham, Southampton and even Manchester City are keeping an eye on him after his 11 goals have highlighted his finishing quality in League One.

Everton are the latest Premier League club to have been credited with an interest, while in the Championship there is a growing list of admirers including Middlesbrough and Millwall.

But Ross isn’t worrying about what might happen in the future and is focused on keeping Maja happy on the pitch so Sunderland continue their revival for as long as the front-man is on Wearside.

The Sunderland manager said: “I kind of learned you can waste energy complaining about something or bemoaning the fact something has gone against you. It is always going to happen. You just have to find a way around it.

“I absolutely don’t get uptight about that. I spend my time worrying about how to win games, I don’t worry about the other stuff. What will be will be. That’s not to say I am blasé about it.

“In terms of the conversations I have with Josh, I speak to him all the time, he is comfortable with the relationship he has with me which is important. The situation doesn’t make our relationship strained in any way. That has shown in what he is giving us on the pitch.

“There have been no concrete offers at this stage. He gets a bit of stick from the players and from my staff for some of the things that appear. I don’t think it has an impact on Josh because I don’t think he is that kind of personality.”

Maja has surpassed expectations already this season by hitting double figures and enhancing a reputation at academy level for being a fine finisher before December. Having led Sunderland’s attack more often than not in League One, Ross is keen to tie him down to a new deal but accepts he might not be able to control what happens.

He said: “It goes with the territory of a player doing well. I have had it already in previous jobs. I had it at St Mirren with Lewis Morgan before he ended up at Celtic.

“I view my job as being a problem solver, I quite like problem solving. I don’t get uptight about a problem, I just try to find a solution. Right now I don’t have a problem with Josh because he is my player and he is doing well. I will only have a problem if he leaves the club. Then I have to find a solution.”

Ross reported there have been discussions with Maja – whose deal runs until the summer - and others whose contracts expire at the end of the season, but nothing is ready to be signed and confirmed at this stage.

Maja should be introduced back into the starting line-up at Walsall on Saturday following his equaliser against Wycombe last weekend when he emerged from the bench after the restart. Jerome Sinclair, along with Dylan McGeouch, is a doubt with a knock sustained in that game.

Max Power is likely to replace McGeouch in the middle, while there is still no return pencilled in for midfielder Lee Cattermole. The Teessider is still struggling with a foot problem that has kept him out of the last few matches.