Spanish daily newspaper Marca understands that Sunderland have emerged as favourites to sign Uruguayan winger Cristian Rodriguez from Atletico Madrid.
The Uruguay international has informed club chiefs that he wants to leave Vicente Calderon in search of first team football and it is highly unlikely los Colchoneros will stand in his way having signed him on a free transfer from FC Porto two years ago.
Marca reports that Sunderland have the upper hand at the moment as boss Gus Poyet is eager to lure his compatriot to the Stadium of Light.
Cristian Rodriguez, 28, has played for Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Porto and Atletico Madrid since leaving Penarol back in 2005, winning a total of four league titles in the process.
The highly rated winger, however, found it hard to ensure regular playing time at Vicente Calderon and could only start 2 La Liga fixtures last term, while making another 18 substitute appearances.