According to reports, Uruguayan midfielder Cristian Rodriguez has announced his intention to leave the club this summer.
Sunderland have been heavily linked with a move for the winger, and it now seems that the 28-year-old has himself paved the way for The Black Cats to swoop, stating that he wishes to leave the club ahead of the upcoming season.
Rodriguez told Radio Sport 890;
“Every footballer wants to play as much as possible and what I want is a team in which I can have more minutes on the pitch and which has confidence in me.”
“At my age, the best thing is to play more. If I stay another year the same situation is going to get repeated, so my idea is to leave.”
The Uruguayan international has struggled to make a strong enough impression on Diego Simeone during the 44-year-old's tenure as manager of Madrid, and has subsequently found himself only on the fringes of the Argentinian manager's first eleven.
Gus Poyet has outlined his intention to add quality rather than quantity to his Sunderland ranks this summer, and a move for his Uruguayan counterpart would certainly qualify as part of those plans.
The 28-year-old would no doubt be granted the first-team football he desires at the Stadium of Light, meaning a move to the North East could now be a real possibility.
Reports earlier this week claim Sunderland have approached the Spanish champions with a loan offer for the stocky winger, but it's unlikely that Atletico Madrid will be open to negotiating anything but a permanent sale of their player.