Atletico Madrid are attempting to trim their squad ahead of the upcoming campaign, and Sunderland may be particularly interested in one of the two players available.
Spanish newspaper Marca describes midfielder Cristian Rodriguez as 'deadwood', a player linked strongly to the Black Cats at the end of July.
The Uruguayan's representatives were said to have been in touch with Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, and while the trail has gone cold, the news Atletico are desperate to trim him from their wage bill suggests there could yet be hope for a deal to be resurrected.
More perplexing is the future of former Liverpool full-back Emiliano Insua, who has failed to establish himself as a regular:
Marca's Atlético struggling to shift deadwood article reports, "The 'Rojiblancos' top brass are scratching their heads over what to do with Emiliano Insúa and Cristian 'Cebolla' Rodríguez.
"Both are big earners and while Sunderland are still an option for Rodríguez, there haven't been any decent offers whatsoever for Insúa, who finds himself right at the bottom of the pecking order following the arrival of Guilherme Siqueira and Cristian Ansaldi."
Rodriguez featured at the World Cup for Uruguay, but Argentine defender Insua, now 25 - has just four international caps.
Insua played only in six matches in the club's La Liga title run last season, and this campaign his prospects look even bleaker.