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By ESPN Staff

Barton arrested in assault probe

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton is tonight in police custody in connection with an allegation of assault.

The 25-year-old was one of three people arrested in Liverpool in the early hours of today.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: 'Two males aged 25 and 19 and a woman aged 27 were arrested at 5.30am today on Church Street in Liverpool City Centre following an allegation of assault.

'All three remain in custody for interview and processing and I expect a decision on charges or release will be made later tonight.'

Barton missed Newcastle's game on Boxing Day due to an ankle injury and is believed to have travelled to Liverpool for a night out in the city.

According to reports in tomorrow's Daily Mail, a complaint was made by two men who said they had been attacked by Barton and his companions.

The footballer, who grew up in Huyton, Merseyside, signed for Newcastle from Manchester City this summer in a £5.8 million deal.

But his career has been dogged by controversy and accusations of violence and disciplinary problems.