The 28-year-old Uruguayan made 20 appearances in Atletico's La Liga winning season, though 18 of those were from the bench, and after starting all four of Uruguay's games at the World Cup, he has made no secret of his desire to leave the Vicenté Calderon Stadium this summer.
According to the report, Gus Poyet has been in contact about signing the player since the end of the season, and that move could be close to 'coming to fruition' with the player himself wanting to 'embark on a new adventure' with Sunderland in the Premier League and soon enough so he does not have to report to Los Colchoneros' Los Angeles de San Rafael training camp in a couple of weeks.
Rodriguez himself is a left-footed left winger who can also play in the centre - as he did for Uruguay in their last 16 World Cup loss to Colombia - of a three man midfield. He would, therefore, appear a good fit with Poyet's football.
Of course, whether or not there is any truth to the report is another matter entirely. Yesterday there was about an hour between USA defender Matt Besler claiming Sunderland wanted him and news that they didn't. It's not called 'silly season' for no reason.
As an aside, Sunderland actually had the opportunity to sign Rodriguez last summer to replace James McClean, but Paolo Di Canio didn't want him, presumably because he wanted a right-footed player for the left wing.