Craig Gordon released by Sunderland as nine players leave

Craig Gordon

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon is one of nine players released by the Premier League club.

The 29-year-old signed from Hearts in August 2007 for £9m - breaking the British transfer record for a keeper - but was out of contract this summer.

Fellow goalkeepers Trevor Carson and Lewis King are also departing.

The other players to leave the Black Cats are Liam Bagnall, Jordan Lavender, James Brace, Brett Elliott, Jordan Cook and Oumare Tounkara.

Gordon - who has won 40 caps for Scotland - made 95 appearances in five years, having struggled with injuries and inconsistency.

He broke an arm twice then suffered a knee tendon problem and anterior cruciate ligament damage, the latter ruling him out for eight months from April 2011.

Belgian Simon Mignolet has established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper with Keiren Westwood, signed last summer as a result of Gordon's injury troubles, his understudy.

Gordon made just one appearance in 2011-12, against Bolton last month, and Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has decided the Scot no longer figures in his plans.