ATLETICO Madrid midfielder Cristian Rodriguez is now highly unlikely to join Sunderland, the Echo understands.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet spoke of his eagerness last week to sign fellow Uruguayan Rodriguez, who is expected to leave the La Liga champions this summer.
There have subsequently been reports in both Spain and in Uruguay that Rodriguez’s signing is a mere formality and he is on the verge of becoming a Sunderland player.
But that is far from the case.
Senior sources in Spain have indicated that it would now be a major surprise if Rodriguez joins Sunderland and it is thought that the Black Cats are now longer pursuing the 28-year-old.
That will not stop Sunderland looking to bolster their options in midfield though, with Poyet keen for further recruits after the loss of Craig Gardner, Ki Sung-Yueng and Jack Colback at the end of last season.
Both Cardiff’s Jordon Mutch and Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell have been on Sunderland’s radar throughout the summer, albeit there is a hefty list of suitors for the latter.