Black Cats' chief Gus Poyet has identified Rodwell as his top midfield target having lost Jack Colback, Craig Gardner and Ki from last season's squad.

City are ready to loan out the 23-year-old, who has struggled to make an impact at the Etihad Stadium.

But Poyet has a tough task on his hands to persuade Rodwell to join the Black Cats rather than his former club who sold him to City for £12m two years ago.

Rodwell is desperate to move on having been starved of regular first team football for the past two seasons and would be guaranteed a place in the Sunderland engine room.

Poyet is still tracking Cardiff's Jordan Mutch and has spoken to Chelsea about taking centre half Kurt Zouma on a season-long loan to Wearside.