ADAM Johnson will remain available for selection by Sunderland AFC despite being charged with child sex offences.
The England international, 27, was yesterday charged by Durham Police after answering bail at Peterlee Police Station.
A statement released by the club this morning said: “Following yesterday’s statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review.
“The club will not be making any further comment.”
Former Middlesbrough and Manchester City was initially arrested on Monday March 2, and will appear at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on May 20 – the day Sunderland play Arsenal.
The winger, who has played 12 times for England, was initially suspended and then reinstated by his club after being arrested at his mansion in leafy Castle Eden, County Durham.
He was charged yesterday with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 years old, plus one offence of grooming.
He returned to action following the appointment of Dick Advocaat as head coach.
Johnson has featured in the last three games, all as a substitute.
Sunderland travel to Stoke City on Saturday, with the team still very much in danger of being relegated from the Premier League this season.
Meanwhile the Professional Footballers’ Association said in a statement: “Given that this is an ongoing legal matter it would not be appropriate to comment specifically on the case, however we would emphasise that just like any other individual, Adam is entitled to a fair hearing.
“We are not in a position to make any further comment.”