Sunderland closing in Atletico Madrid midfielder Cristian Rodriguez

Reports in Spain claim Cristian Rodriguez's agent has flown to London to discuss a move to Sunderland

Action Images / Carl Recine Uruguay's Cristian Rodriguez
Uruguay's Cristian Rodriguez

Sunderland are closing in on a move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Cristian Rodriguez.

Black Cats head coach Gus Poyet has said the Uruguay international is one of the players he would like to bring to Wearside and, according to reports in Spain over the weekend, Rodriguez’s agent Francisco Casal has travelled to London for talks.

Rodriguez was left out of the 22-man squad the Spanish champions took to North America, where they played San Jose Earthquakes in the early hours of this morning before travelling to Mexico to face Club America on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old has become frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities in Madrid, where he has started just 14 league games in two years, and is understood to be keen on a move to the Premier League.

The left-sider played in all four of his country’s games at this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil and has extensive experience of European football - having had spells in France with Paris St-Germain and Portugal with Benfica and Porto before moving to Madrid in 2012.

Sunderland have already made four summer signings, Dutch international left-back Patrick van Aanholt the latest recruit when he joined from Chelsea on Friday.

However, more new faces are needed before the season starts.

The Black Cats had a £14m bid for Italian striker Fabio Borini accepted by Liverpool 10 days ago but have yet to settle personal terms with the player.

The Italian picked up a shoulder injury on the Reds’ tour of the USA and returned to England over the weekend for treatment, which may also signal the start of talks with Sunderland.

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