Robinho in sex probe

MANCHESTER - Manchester City and Brazil star striker Robinho has been arrested and bailed out over allegations of a serious sexual assault in a British nightclub, police said yesterday.

MANCHESTER - Manchester City and Brazil star striker Robinho has been arrested and bailed out over allegations of a serious sexual assault in a British nightclub, police said yesterday.

Robinho's spokesman Chris Nathaniel confirmed he had been interviewed by police on Tuesday but "strenuously denied" the allegations.

"We can confirm that he met the police on Tuesday as pre-arranged and as part of a criminal investigation," Nathaniel said in a statement on Robinho's website.

"He strenuously denies any allegation of wrongdoing or criminality and is happy to cooperate with the police if further required."

West Yorkshire police in northern England confirmed a man was arrested on Tuesday and was questioned in connection with a serious sexual assault in a Leeds nightclub on January 14.

Manchester City declined to comment on the arrest.

The Sun newspaper reported a teenaged university student had alleged she was raped by Robinho, 25, at The Space nightclub in Leeds.

The report said Robinho, who is married and has a son, had gone to the nightclub for a night out with his team-mates.

Earlier this month, Robinho walked out of the team's warm weather training camp in Tenerife and headed for Brazil, citing an "important family matter", thought to be his birthday.

He returned to Manchester on Sunday and held a meeting with the club's manager Mark Hughes the following day. Hughes said he would be fined for leaving the training camp without permission.

Robinho joined City from Spanish giants Real Madrid in September for about R463million.

He is Britain's most expensive player.

A reputation for partying has pursued him throughout his career. While at Real Madrid in 2007, he fell out with then club manager Fabio Capello after he was late returning from international duty having been seen in a nightclub the night before. - Sapa-AFP

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