Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Black Cats sign up Scottish goalkeeper Gordon from Hearts

AP, SUNDERLAND, England

Sunderland signed Craig Gordon from Hearts on Wednesday for a British record transfer fee for a goalkeeper of ?9 million (US$18.3 million).

The 24-year-old Scotland international signed a five-year contract, with Sunderland believed to have paid an initial ?7 million with the rest dependent on appearances.

"He's a top goalkeeper and he'll be a massive asset for us over the next few years," Sunderland manager Roy Keane said. "I think he can only get better, and this is the right club for him."

The previous British record transfer for a goalkeeper was ?7.8 million when Manchester United signed France international Fabien Barthez from Monaco in 2000. Gordon also replaces Richard Wright and Chris Kirkland -- who both cost ?6 million -- as the most expensive British goalkeeper.

The Black Cats had three previous bids for Gordon rejected this offseason. While Hearts had accepted a similar offer from Aston Villa, Gordon declined to talk to the club.

Gordon has played 23 games for Scotland, keeping eight clean sheets.

Gordon will have to pass a fitness test on his injured shoulder to play in Sunderland's opening English Premier League match at home against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.

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