Adam Johnson’s will now stand trial to answer sex offence allegations in the New Year.
Following more than three hours of discussions between the England international’s barrister and the Crown Prosecution Service, a new date has been fixed for Wednesday, February 10, next year.
The case had been due to be heard before the Recorder of Durham Christopher Prince starting on Monday, August 24, but will now be held at Bradford Crown Court in front of another judge.
Johnson, of Stockton Road, Castle Eden, denies three charges of sexual activity with a girl under 16 and another of grooming.
Judge Prince, following a legal ruling, said no details of the discussions could be reported about yesterday’s session.
But he added: “I have no objections to the media reporting that there was a pre-trial hearing today, at which a number of administrative and legal issues were addressed.
“The trial date set for August has been vacated and the trial will now take place in February next year.”
Johnson was not required to address the court during the talks between his legal team, headed up by Orlando Pownall OC, and the Crown Prosection Service’s barrister Kate Blackwell.
The 28-year-old winger, dressed in a blue-grey suit and a white shirt, arrived in a Range Rover and was accompanied to court by his father.
He was released on conditional bail until his next appearance, which will be a plea and case management hearing at Bradford on Tuesday, October 6.
Sunderland are due to play West Ham at home on the Saturday before that hearing and will go up against Liverpool on the Saturday before his trial is due to begin.
The Black Cats’ Premier League season starts on Saturday with an away game at Leicester City.
Born in Sunderland, Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough before moving to Manchester City and then to Sunderland for £10 million in 2012.