Newcastle youngster Nile Ranger has been hauled in to explain himself to club officials after a photo of him in a gangsta pose with a gun was made public.
The photo was reportedly taken by Ranger’s girlfriend.
The 20-year-old is show holding a chrome replica handgun.
A spokesman for Newcastle United said: “The club have spoken to Nile and can confirm that the item shown in the photograph is a replica firearm which is not an offence to own.
“Nile regrets posing for the photograph, which was taken by his girlfriend at home.”
Ranger was sent to a young offenders’ institution for 11 weeks when he was aged 15 for his involvement in an armed street robbery in London.