Bristol City target Craig Gordon: Player profile
Bristol City manager Derek McInnes is believed to be considering a move for former Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon.
With a long list of targets to consider, McInnes is pushing ahead with his recruitment drive ahead of the Championship campaign kick-off on August 18.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper is currently a free agent, having been released by Sunderland in May.
Born in Edinburgh, Gordon started out with the Hearts youth side. During this time he went out on loan to Cowdenbeath, where he played a small number of games before being recalled to the Hearts team.
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He made his debut for the first team in 2002 at the age of 19, and the talent shown in the 2003-04 season saw him shortlisted for the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award.
The year 2004 also saw Gordon make his Scotland debut in a 4–1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago at Easter Road Stadium in May. He went on to win 40 caps for Scotland.
The following season he was voted Player of the Year by the Scottish Football Writers Association, becoming the first non-Old Firm player to win the award since Dundee United's Maurice Malpas in 1991, and the first Hearts man since Sandy Jardine in 1986.
Gordon told BBC Sport at the time: "The last goalkeeper to win it was Andy Goram (1993) and that was a good while ago.
"So it's very special as not too many goalkeepers win it and not too many Hearts players as well."
In 2006 he signed an extension to his contract with the club, tying him in until 2009.
In December that year he was dropped to the bench the day after urging Hearts to be more open about events at the Edinburgh club.
But head coach Valdas Ivanauskas insisted the 23-year-old's absence had nothing to do with the disciplinary meeting. "He was not feeling so good this morning," Ivanauskas told BBC Sport.
Gordon was reinstated three days later.
By August 2007 Gordon was believed to be considering a move, and speculation intensified when Hearts failed to qualify for European competition at the season's end.
Scotland manager Alex McLeish urged Gordon to seize a "chance of lifetime" by quitting Hearts for a move to the Barclays Premier League.
The goalkeeper was reported to have attracted interest from both Sunderland and Aston Villa. At the height of the speculation, former Hearts winger Allan Preston called Gordon “one of the best goalkeepers in Europe”.
He told the Scotsman: “You have to pay for quality and Craig Gordon is quality, without a doubt.
"He's Scotland's No. 1 and has been one of Hearts' best players in recent months. He's club captain and has led by example, so he deserves everything he gets.”
And months later, in November 2007, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said he believed Gordon could become one of the top goalkeepers in the world.
That same month a 24-year-old Gordon became the youngest player to be inducted into the Hearts Hall of Fame.
By this time he had signed a five-year deal with Sunderland for £9 million, breaking the British transfer record for a keeper.
Having penned the deal in August, he made his debut for Sunderland in the Premier League opening game against Tottenham Hotspur.
He was forced to sit out for several months in the middle of the 2008-09 season, after sustaining a knee injury. He was back out on the field by the start of the following season, but in November broke his arm in a collision with Jermain Defo.
The smash saw him sidelined until January the following year.
And Gordon’s bad luck was set to continue. After undergoing surgery on his broken arm he returned to training days after, only to fracture the arm again during a training session.
It was confirmed he would miss the start of the 2010–11 Premier League campaign.
In March 2011 he sustained yet another injury, this time a tendon injury in his knee. He was able to continue as goalkeeper, but the following month underwent surgery to repair his tendon and the Anterior cruciate ligament injury he had suffered.
As a result, he was ruled out for nearly eight months.
Gordon returned to play for the reserves in January 2012, and resumed first team action in April.
But in May, having made just one appearance in 2011-12, it was announced that Gordon was to be one of nine players released by the Premier League club.
Gordon made 95 appearances for Sunderland in the five years he was with the club.