Man Utd’s Mason Greenwood has not trained for a year as Red Devils face dilemma with star

Man Utd’s Mason Greenwood has not trained for a year as Red Devils face dilemma with star

Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has had all charges against him dropped. The player was facing allegations – all from the same woman – of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault.

The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on Thursday confirmed that the charges had been dropped. An investigation began last year after Greenwood was arrested on January 31 on suspicion of rape and assault, before being further arrested on February 1 on suspicion of sexual assault and making threats to kill.

He had been set to appear in court this coming November but no longer faces any criminal proceedings. Chief Superintendent Michaela Kerr, GMP’s Head of Public Protection said: “The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.

“Despite the media and public’s interest in this case, we have decided not to comment on it in any further detail.” The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) added that it had a “duty to stop the case” because of the “withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light”.

A CPS spokesperson said this meant there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction” and added: “We have explained our decision to all parties.” Greenwood was suspended by United last January after his arrest.

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A statement at the time said: “Mason Greenwood will not return to training or play matches until further notice.” That followed a statement released the day before, which read: “We will not make any further comment until the facts have been established. Manchester United does not condone violence of any kind.”

Last April, United also said: “There has been no change whatsoever in Mason’s status. We removed his profile from the club app soon after he was removed from the squad in January. This was in order to remove Mason from interactive elements of the app, such as team predictions etc.

“However, his profile was never removed from the website as he remains a Manchester United player, albeit not currently part of the squad while the legal process unfolds.” Before another update back in October confirmed he “remains suspended by the club, pending the outcome of the judicial process”.

Express Sport have contacted United for comment. The club have yet to release any statement. He is under contract on his £75,000-a-week deal until the summer of 2025, while the Red Devils have an option to extend the agreement by a further year.

They must now decide what to do with the player and whether or not to reintegrate him back into the squad under manager Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman took over in the summer and has not managed Greenwood due to his year-long suspension.

The player has now not trained for his club for over a year and thus if he was given the green light to return, would likely need several weeks or months to gain fitness before being considered for selection again.

Ten Hag may be asked about the matter on Friday, when he is due to speak to the press ahead of United’s next Premier League match on Saturday against Crystal Palace.

Greenwood, who has one cap for England’s senior team, has represented the club 129 times across all competitions, scoring 35 goals. The Bradford-born attacker’s last appearance came on January 22 last year, when he played for 82 minutes on the right wing in a 1-0 home win against West Ham.

He was not named in their 25-man squad for the current Premier League season but that is because he qualifies to be on a list of under-21 players eligible to represent the first team. He was not included in their Europa League group stage squad.

Clubs have until 11pm today (Thursday) to register a maximum of three new players for the knockout stages of the competition. United face Barcelona in a two-legged tie with the first match on February 16 in Spain.

Published at Thu, 02 Feb 2023 15:37:00 +0000