Micah Richards arrested over 'assault'

England and Manchester City footballer Micah Richards was arrested over an alleged assault outside a nightclub.

The 20-year-old defender was questioned by police yesterday after the alleged assault of a man in Hale, Greater Manchester, at around 12.30am on Christmas Eve. Richards has been bailed until April.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "A 20-year-old man has been arrested after an assault outside a Hale nightclub, at about 12.30am on December 24 2008.

"The man was arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault by appointment on Wednesday 4 February. He has been bailed until 8 April pending further inquiries."

Richards, who joined Manchester City from Oldham Athletic as a 14-year-old, signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract with the club in February last year.

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes, meanwhile, said the club would do everything to support Richards, and revealed he could be involved in Saturday's home game against Middlesbrough.

"We are very supportive of Micah. He went to the police station in a pre-arranged appointment. It is an on-going situation, we are aware of that and we are supportive of him," Hughes said in a news conference televised on Sky Sports News.

When asked whether the defender was in the right frame of mind to be considered for selection this weekend, he replied: "Absolutely."