In a bid to rid themselves of a striking crisis at the club, Sunderland are understood to have given a certain Italian striker the chance to sign at the Stadium of Light pending a successful trial.
But no, it isn’t the Balotelli you’re all hoping for however the trialist is the younger sibling of Mario, Enoch Balotelli.
The forward was training with Stoke City in December but Tony Pulis’ side declined the opportunity to sign him on a permanent transfer.
The Black Cats may decide differently however given the club’s lack of offensive players, and decide to hand the young goalscorer a contract.
Asamoah Gyan left the North East outfit in a bit of bind early on in the season after deciding to take Al-Ain up on their loan offer that supposedly tripled his wages.
Despite the loan signature of Nicklas Bendtnder, Sunderland haven’t posed the greatest attacking threat this season and have had to push Stephane Sessegnon up the field in their hunt for goals.
Although the Benin international has performed admirably in his new role, Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-Won – 18 and 20, respectively – aren’t the most experienced backup players, and it’s easy to see why reinforcements are needed.
The case wasn’t helped by Bendtner’s facial injury suffered over the weekend that could rule the Dane out for a month.
Balotelli will be hoping to impress over the course of his two-week trial and could find himself following in his big brother’s footsteps with a move to the Premier League.
The 19 year-old may be the younger brother of the Manchester City outlaw, however Martin O’Neill would be smart to ensure he isn’t nearly as controversial both on and off the pitch.