Merseyside Police have confirmed they are investigating video footage which shows Ross Barkley, the Everton and England midfielder, being punched in a bar in Liverpool in the early hours of Monday morning.
Barkley, who had played in Everton’s impressive 4-2 win over Leicester at Goodison Park on Sunday, was pictured on CCTV in conversation with an unidentified man.
The man was then filmed suddenly knocking the 23 year-old to the ground after punching him in the side of the face before being dragged away.
Barkley's lawyer, Matt Himsworth, managing director of Himsworths Legal, said: "We can confirm Ross was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a stranger who approached him on Sunday evening."
The attack happened in the Santa Chupitos cocktail bar in Liverpool city centre.
The perfect way to finish the week off. pic.twitter.com/SMbtpfLdB2
— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley20) April 9, 2017
Everton have yet to respond for comment but Merseyside Police said they are looking into the matter.
In a statement, they said: “Merseyside Police is aware of footage online reportedly showing an assault in a bar in Liverpool city centre.
“No report of an assault has been received but officers are making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the incident.”
Santa Chupitos said the person responsible for leaking footage of the attack on the internet will be sacked.
A spokesman for the bar said: "We take the privacy of anyone in our bar extremely seriously and what has happened is very disappointing.
"In the first instance it's very rare that any altercations happen in the venue. We're a friendly bar and this is not something which happens regularly. It's very much an isolated incident.
"We'll work with the authorities to help in any way we can now.
"We've found out how the footage was made public and acted quickly to remove the person responsible from the company. He will be losing his job."
The spokesman added that they were satisfied with how staff and the bar's door team handled the assault.
"It was sorted out quickly from our perspective," he said. "The door staff did their jobs very well.
'There is always a good atmosphere here and we welcome anyone. We don't like to see things like this happen here no matter how infrequently."
Barkley, who is out of contract at Everton at the end of next season, faces an uncertain future at the club, with Spurs among those interested in signing the player.
He did not feature for England last month, despite being named in Gareth Southgate's squad, and criticised for his poor performance in the recent 3-1 Merseyside derby defeat by Liverpool at Anfield but he impressed against Leicester and set up Romelu Lukaku for a goal with an inviting cross.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman said Barkley will have to be sold if he does not sign a new contract this summer.