Gordon snubbed loan switch

Black Cats keeper opted for Stadium of Light stay

Craig Gordon: Opted against a loan move away from the Stadium of Light

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Martin O'Neill has revealed Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon rejected the chance to leave before the loan transfer window closed.

The Scottish shot-stopper is currently working his way back to full fitness after being injury-plagued since injuring his knee in February 2011.

Simon Mignolet is O'Neill's first-choice number one at the moment and the former Aston Villa and Celtic boss had been keen on gauging Gordon's level of progress.

However, the former Hearts keeper opted to remain at the Stadium of Light in order to prove his fitness and win an extension to the five-year deal that is due to expire this summer.

Choice

"There was a club interested in taking him out on loan," explained O'Neill.

"I thought about it because it might have been an opportunity for him to play a couple of games to give us a better idea of his fitness, but I was concerned about it as well because Keiren Westwood has been out with a wrist injury and that could have left us in a delicate position.

"I left it up to him and he chose to stay and continue his rehabilitation here, so that's where we have left it."

"It's something I haven't considered yet," O'Neill added on Gordon's future. "The main thing is that, by the end of the season, he is fully fit. Everybody knows what he was capable of doing before the injuries."