Barry Bannan suspended by Villa

Aston Villa have confirmed that Barry Bannan has been suspended, as the club conducts an internal investigation into the midfielder’s arrest early on Sunday morning.

The Scotland international was involved in a car crash on the M1 heading southbound late on Saturday night, and was arrested by local police on the charge of drink-driving at 5.30am.

The 21-year-old was later bailed pending further action, and did not train with the Midlands side on Monday.

With the seriousness of the offence, Villa boss Alex McLeish has admitted that the player has been suspended, and will not be available for the team’s next game.

“Barry Bannan has been suspended while the club carries out internal enquiries into allegations which arose last weekend. He will not be available for this weekend’s game at Sunderland,” the Scottish coach told the club’s official website.

The news will be a blow for Villa, as Bannan has emerged as one of the side’s brightest prospects and has become an important part of the Birmingham-based club’s first team.

Villa go into the game against Sunderland eager to get points, after a 2-1 home defeat to West Brom last weekend left the side’s supporters disgruntled.

By Gareth McKnight