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The controversial forward’s sibling has been given the chance to impress boss Martin O'Neill, along with Bosnian international Zlatan Muslimovic

Enoch Balotelli, the younger brother of Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, is set to begin a trial period at Sunderland.

19-year-old Enoch, originally from Ghana but raised in Italy, is bidding to follow in his brother’s footsteps and secure a full-time contract in the Premier Leauge, with the Stadium of Light now a possible destination.

He had previously been on trial at Stoke City back in December, but the Potters decided not to take up the option of signing him on a permanent basis.

Now it seems that Sunderland are in pole position to make a move for his signature, as manager Martin O’Neill seeks to strengthen his squad in a bid to continue their impressive run of form.

O’Neill is thought to be particularly eager to bolster his attacking options after the news that Nicklas Bendtner could be out of action for longer than first feared, following a facial injury picked up in the weekend win over Swansea.

As a result, Bosnia international Zlatan Muslimovic has also been handed a trial, having leaving Greek side PAOK after three seasons with the club.

However, Rangers could be set to rival the Black Cats for his signature, as Ally McCoist has identified the former Atalanta striker as a target in the current transfer window after he spent some time training with the SPL giants.

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