Scott Parker says Josh Maja is likely to make his move to Fulham a permanent switch even if the Whites make an instant return to the Championship.
Maja, who scored both goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on his full debut, moved to Craven Cottage on loan from French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux – one of seven players who featured in that match who are on temporary deals.
But unlike Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ola Aina, Alphonse Areola, Joachim Andersen, Ademola Lookman and Mario Lemina, who Parker said will all return to their parent clubs if Fulham go down, an agreement is tentatively in place to sign former Sunderland forward Maja.
“I’m not sure with Josh,” said head coach Parker.
“The deal is a little bit different there. I think we do have an option on that.
“That will come down to where we see that as a football club and also Josh, probably.
“Certainly Josh was someone we liked, I liked, and that was why we put that into the deal.
“We’ll cross that bridge nearer the time.”
Despite Maja’s dream start to his Craven Cottage career, Parker believes he may have to use the 22-year-old sparingly after he was forced to come off after 73 minutes with a tight calf muscle.
“Maybe, that will be the case,” he said.
“He didn’t play a lot of football (before signing).
“He was stretching his calf which is why we brought him off at the weekend.
“He seems a very fit boy, condition-wise, credit to him, that’s the work he must have done even though he has not been playing (at Bordeaux).
“It is something we will need to keep an eye on.”