Sunderland are making progress in their attempts to sign Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell.
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The Premier League champions are willing to let the England international leave the Etihad Stadium, sources told ESPN, and the Black Cats are keen on the 23-year-old.
Sunderland could close in on Rodwell on Tuesday if talks with the former Everton player go well, and he is expected to undergo a medical.
Rodwell became surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium after City manager Manuel Pellegrini signed three central midfielders this summer.
Fernando arrived from Porto for 12 million pounds, Argentine youngster Bruno Zuculini joined from Racing Club and Frank Lampard was taken on loan from New York City FC.
Rodwell only made one Premier League start in an injury-hit season last year as he struggled with hamstring problems.
He had joined City for an initial fee of 12 million pounds from Everton in August 2012 but has only started 10 games in two seasons at the Etihad Stadium.
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Everton had expressed an interest in taking Rodwell back to Goodison Park on loan while he was also linked with Southampton and Napoli.
Sunderland have already signed one City player this summer, bringing in goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, who was released at the end of his contract.
Manager Gus Poyet has also brought Chelsea left-back Patrick van Aanholt, West Brom right-back Billy Jones and Wigan midfielder Jordi Gomez to the Stadium of Light.
However, with four central midfielders departing -- Jack Colback, Craig Gardner, David Vaughan and the on-loan Ki Sung-Yeung -- he is looking for further reinforcements in that area.