LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United and Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.
Media reports said Tiote, who only returned to England this month after playing for the Ivorians at the African Nations Cup, had his car seized following his arrest.
"At about 1.30pm on February 12, a car was stopped on Benton Park Road, Newcastle, and a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud in relation to driving offences," a Northumbria police spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Any absence for the tough tackling Tiote will be a blow to Newcastle, who are 16th in the Premier League, four points above the drop zone.
There was some good news for Alan Pardew's men with the manager saying French striker Yoan Gouffran should return to training next week following a shin injury in the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
He was carried off on a stretcher minutes after scoring his first Premier League goal with doctors fearing he might have broken his leg. However, tests have shown the injury is not serious.
"That's all good news, fortunately. We think he'll train on Monday," Pardew told the club website (www.nufc.co.uk).