1. ITV Report

Sunderland announce first summer signing

Alim Ozturk, who is set to join Sunderland. Credit: Sunderland AFC

Defender Alim Ozturk has become Sunderland's first signing of the summer.

He will join the Black Cats on July 1 in a two-year deal after he left Turkish side Boluspor.

The centre-back is a former Turkish under 21 international who was born in the Netherlands.

He began his career at Dutch side SC Cambuur, before moving to Trabzonspor. The 25-year-old then made the move to Scottish side Heart of Midlothian, spending three years at the club, during which time he became its captain.

He returned to Turkish football in January 2017, signing an eighteen-month deal with Boluspor.

Manager Jack Ross said:

He is someone who I know – I worked with him a few years ago at Hearts. He is a player who is yet to reach his full potential, but this opportunity here gives him the chance to do that.

He is a really good player and he will be able to cope with the physical demands of this league. He is really comfortable on the ball and I think the supporters will see that. He is excited by the opportunity to come here and he wants to do well so that fits perfectly in to what we are trying to do here moving forward.”

– Jack Ross, Sunderland