Adam Johnson
Sunderland's Adam Johnson denies the allegations against him (Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths)

Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson is to stand trial on child sex charges after denying four charges levelled against him.

The 27-year-old appeared at Durham Crown Court to plead not guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and one count of grooming.

The sexual activity offences are alleged to involve a 15-year-old girl in January 2015, while the meeting of a child after sexual grooming offence was said to have happened between December 2014 and February.

Johnson continued to play for Sunderland while the investigations were ongoing. His trial has now been scheduled to start on 24 August, 16 days after the start of the next Premier League season.

Johnson, who has previously played for Manchester City and Middlesbrough, has been capped 12 times for England, scoring two goals.