Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards has been arrested on suspicion of assault after an incident outside a nightclub in northwest England, police said on Thursday.
The 20-year-old was detained after going to a police station by appointment on Wednesday.
He was questioned over an allegation of assault outside a nightclub in Hale, in the south of the city, in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
"The man was arrested on suspicion of Section 47 assault," Greater Manchester Police said in a statement which referred to the specific part of the Offences Against the Person Act used to make the arrest.
The maximum jail sentence for anyone convicted of the offence in a crown court is five years or six months if the case is dealt with by a lower level magistrates court.
Richards' agent and a Manchester City spokeswoman were not immediately available for comment. However, a club spokesman was reported as saying Richards "vigorously denies any involvement."
"He is fully co-operating with the police with their inquiries," the spokesman said, according to the Manchester Evening News. "I would like to point out that he has not been charged with any offence and vigorously denies any involvement.
"The investigation continues and the club remains fully supportive."
Born in Birmingham in 1988, Richards joined Manchester City from Oldham Athletic when he was 14 and became a member of the club's youth academy. He made his premiership debut against Arsenal in 2005.
A year later, he won his first international cap in England's 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
Last month, Manchester City striker Robinho was arrested in connection with a sexual assault. The Brazilian striker denied the accusations and said he was happy to co-operate with police.