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By ESPN Staff

Rape probe at Manchester United party hotel

Police are investigating claims that a woman was raped at a hotel where Manchester United footballers were holding a party.

The alleged assault occurred at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester in the early hours of the morning.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: 'Police are currently investigating a report of rape at a hotel in Manchester city centre.

'At about 4.15am on Tuesday December 18 2007, police were called to the hotel on Great John Street to a report that a 26-year-old woman had been raped.

'Inquiries are continuing.'

A hotel spokeswoman said: 'We did have an event on Monday night. We're helping the police with an investigation. We're currently closed but hoping to open this evening.'

The hotel is a boutique 'town house' hotel converted from a Victorian schoolhouse in the trendy Castlefield area of Manchester.

The Manchester Evening News reported that the entire Manchester United first team - excluding Cristiano Ronaldo - attended their club's annual Christmas party.

The players were reportedly entertained by burlesque dancers during their meal at the Manchester 235 Casino.

They were also reported to have had a drink at the Old Grapes, a pub owned by Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn.