SUNDERLAND are weighing up a move for Peru defender Jesus Rabanal as they look to secure left-back cover before the transfer deadline.
The 26-year-old international, who plays for Lima club Universitario, has been on trial at the Academy of Light this week after a recommendation from Hartlepool winger Nobby Solano.
While there are concerns about whether he is match-fit enough to slot straight into the Sunderland squad, he would provide a relatively cheap solution to Martin O’Neill’s need for defensive cover.
Rabanal has also been considered by Doncaster Rovers but is desperate to seal a switch to the Stadium of Light.
Rovers boss Dean Saunders confirmed his interest earlier this week, but he has been training with the Wearsiders.
O’Neill has invited a raft of trialists to the club’s training base this week as he hunts for cost-effective solutions to their need for a few extra recruits to protect against injuries and suspensions for the rest of the season.
The Journal understands he has turned down the chance to take a closer look at St Etienne’s Sylvain Monsoreau, who was due to join on trial this week.
However, he has made it clear he will continue to look at players this month. For the most part they have failed to impress – free agent Enoch Balotelli and Bosnia striker Zlatan Muslimovic were both allowed to leave after just one day of training – but Rabanal has been with the club for most of the week.
He can play on the left or in the centre of defence and is an attacking defender.