Sunderland are all set to sign former Turkey U21 international Alim Öztürk on a free transfer after the 25-year-old underwent a medical at the Academy of Light earlier today.
Öztürk had been playing for Turkish TFF First League side Boluspor for the last 18-months, but with his contract expiring at the Bolu Ataturk Stadium, he is set to be announced as the first signing of the Jack Ross era.
Ross knows the defender from his time at Hearts, where Ross was the development squad manager when Öztürk was a regular at Tynecastle Park, and was obviously impressed enough to make him his first Sunderland signing.
Öztürk, who stands at 6’3”, was initially a key figure at Hearts and was even appointed captain as the Edinburgh club won the Championship and scored a sensational last minute derby equaliser at Easter Road against Hibernian, but with his contract running down the defender had a quick fall from grace, as he was stripped of the captaincy and removed from the side.
After leaving Hearts for Boluspor, the player was a regular in the team as they finished third in the Turkish second division.