ENGLAND international Adam Johnson has been arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16, sources said.
The girl is believed to be 15-years-old and the Sunderland footballer remains in custody following his arrest.
He has also been suspended by the club, pending the outcome of the police investigation.
A statement from Sunderland AFC said: “Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation. No further comment will be made at the present time.”
He had been due to travel with the rest of the squad to Humberside this afternoon for tomorrow night’s Barclays Premier League fixture at Hull.
Durham Constabulary said he continues to help them with their inquiries as they investigate the allegation.
A police spokesman said: “A 27-year-old man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16.
“He remains in police custody and is helping officers with their inquiries.”
Born in Sunderland, the winger has represented his country 12 times and also played for Middlesbrough and Manchester City.
He cost the Wearside club £10m when they purchased him in 2012 and he has gone on to score 17 goals for them.
Adam Johnson began his career at Middlesbrough, where he made his debut in a Uefa Cup game in 2005, aged just 17.
Almost six months later, he turned out for the first time in the Premier League, taking part in a 2-1 home win against Arsenal.
He was loaned out to Leeds United then Watford, scoring 12 goals in his three-month stay at the Hertfordshire club.
On his return to Middlesbrough, he again showed strong form, then made a £7 million move to Manchester City in February 2010.
In three seasons at the Etihad Stadium, the speedy winger made 97 appearances, helping win the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield.
In August 2012 he moved back to his native North East, to Sunderland, in a £10 million deal, and highlights of his time there have included a hat-trick on January 11 last year in a 4-1 away win over Fulham.
He said after taking the match ball as a memento: “These days don’t come along too often unless you’re Messi or Ronaldo, so it was nice for me to get that ball as a souvenir to look back on.
“This is up there with one of my best days of my career along with playing for England, scoring for England.”
He was awarded the Barclays Player of the Month award that month.
The 27-year-old has represented England at under-19 and under-21 level, and at senior level 12 times, the last of them in a friendly victory over Italy in August 2012.
He has struggled to reproduce his best form on a sustained basis at Sunderland, but endeared himself to the fans with goals in each of the club’s three derby victories at Newcastle in as many seasons, including a late winner at St James’ Park on December 21 last year.
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