Ex-Sunderland stopper Gordon in Udinese talks

Craig Gordon
Craig Gordon
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FORMER Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon could be heading to Italy after failing to land a contract in the Premier League.

Italian outfit Udinese are reportedly leading the chase for free agent Gordon, while Bologna and Siena have also shown an interest in the 29-year-old, who has been training with former club Hearts.

Udinese have held discussions with Gordon (right), and the Scotland keeper has always been open to a move to the Continent after being released by the Black Cats at the end of last season.

Gordon turned down a lucrative offer to join SPL champions Celtic earlier this summer, but interest from the Premier League has never got beyond the inquiry stage.

West Brom and West Ham were both keeping tabs on Gordon, but then signed stoppers Ben Foster and Jussi Jaaskelainen respectively.

Championship outfit Bristol City have been leading the chase among the English clubs interested in Gordon and he may feel his future is best served in Italy.

Meanwhile, former Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque is set to come out of retirement with boyhood club Lyon.

Malbranque hung up his boots just a month after returning to his homeland with French outfit St Etienne from Sunderland last August.

But the 32-year-old is now training with Lyon and is in talks over a permanent deal with last season’s French Cup winners.

Lyon boss Remi Garde said: “It is very clear with Steed. Olympique Lyon want to know where he is to see if there is an opportunity.

“For now we’re at the stage of observation – we’ll see if it goes well.

“Steed is a player that we know – he has a lot of maturity and kept his qualities. Then again, he needs to regain his rhythm after a season without playing.

“Steed can match what we are looking for in a sporting and economic sense. His experience, his personality – even if he does not talk much – he can bring to our group.”