Jack Rodwell's underwhelming Manchester City career appears to be drawing to a close after he visited Sunderland's training complex on Monday.
Rodwell arrived at City two years ago in a £12million deal from Everton, a highly-rated homegrown talent who had only recently made a promising debut for England.
But the dream move never really got off the ground, hamstring problems hampering his early progress and more established performers regularly keeping him out of the side when fit.
In his two seasons at the Etihad, the 23-year-old made just 25 appearances in all competitions - a figure that includes just seven Barclays Premier League starts and two goals, both in a losing effort against Norwich.
Having gone backwards since Manuel Pellegrini replaced Roberto Mancini at the City helm, it seemed inevitable Rodwell would move on this summer and Wearside appears his likeliest destination after manager Gus Poyet was not deterred by a £10million price tag.
Rodwell was filmed at Sunderland's Academy of Light facility, where he was thought to be discussing personal terms on a deal that should go ahead as soon as he passes a medical.
Black Cats boss Gus Poyet's transfer business so far this summer has been of the low-key variety, with Jordi Gomez, Billy Jones and Costel Pantilimon signing on free transfers and Chelsea fringe player Patrick van Aarnholt also arriving.
A £14million move for Liverpool's Fabio Borini, who spent last season on loan at the club, has thus far come to nothing but Poyet said over the weekend he was confident of surprising fans with some exciting developments.
A box-to-box midfielder has been top of his priorities for much of the close season and, with previous target Jordon Mutch set for QPR, Rodwell would fit the bill.