Mason Greenwood is to leave Manchester United after the club concluded its review into the striker.
The 22-year-old, who was arrested in January 2022 on suspicion of a number of offences including attempted rape, will not play for the club again and is likely to leave on loan or see his contract settled.
The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently dropped the charges in February of this after key witnesses withdrew and new material came to light.
But Greenwood has not played for United, who launched their own probe, since his arrest. That investigation has now ended. United found Greenwood did not commit the offences which he was charged with but has also concluded it would be best for all if his future was away from Old Trafford.
A United spokesperson said: ‘All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United. It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will now work with Mason to achieve that outcome.’
Mason Greenwood will leave Man United after the club concluded its review into the star
Greenwood had been unable to train with his team-mates during the period of his suspension
Charges of attempted rape and assault were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service in February but United have spent the last six months carrying out their own investigation
Greenwood admitted to ‘making mistakes in his relationship’ and insisted that he ‘did not do the things he was accused of’ – as he confirmed the decision to leave United was for the best
Mail Sport understands final details are still being arranged. Greenwood will either leave on loan or will have his contract settled. He will not, according to sources, play for United again.
Greenwood was arrested after a number of harrowing images and video were posted on social media. He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In a lengthy statement, United added: ‘Based on the evidence available to us, we have concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged. That said, as Mason publicly acknowledges today, he has made mistakes which he is taking responsibility for.’
Greenwood said: ‘I was brought up to know that violence or abuse in any relationship is wrong, I did not do the things I was accused of, and in February I was cleared of all charges. However, I fully accept I made mistakes in my relationship, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post.
‘Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me. The best decision for us all, is for me to continue my football career away from Old Trafford, where my presence will not be a distraction for the club. I thank the club for their support since I joined aged seven. There will always be a part of me which is United.’
Chief executive Richard Arnold handled the investigation, which was assisted by Roche, the club’s legal counsel Patrick Stewart, their communications director Ellie Norman and Red Devils football director John Murtough.
A group of Man United supporters protested before the club’s first home game of the season, outlining their opposition to reintegrating striker Mason Greenwood into the first team
One disgruntled Manchester United fan held up a sign telling the club not to ‘not leave the decision up to the women’s team’ labelling the hierarchy as ‘spineless motherless f****’
It had been reported that Arnold told senior staff that Greenwood would be returning to the club two weeks ago on August 4.
According to The Athletic , Arnold intended to record and share a video explaining Greenwood’s reintegration with the men’s first team to staff and the general public.
An announcement was said to be imminent before their Premier League opener with Wolves, but it was delayed with the club insisting that the communication of their decision to key stakeholders is more important than any arbitrary deadline.
The Red Devils delayed an announcement over his future after seeking final approval from their women’s team, club sponsors and fans’ groups.
However, United fans made their feelings clear outside Old Trafford before their Premier League opener with Wolves, with a banner reading: ‘Female fans demand. End violence against women. No Greenwood return.’
Another fan was seen raising a sign at Old Trafford which said: ‘Don’t leave the decision up to the women’s team you spineless motherless f****.’
Countdown co-host Rachel Riley meanwhile insisted she will stop supporting the Red Devils if they bring Greenwood back into the fold.
In a statement on Wednesday, United insisted that no decision had been made.
‘Following the dropping of all charges against Mason Greenwood in February 2023, Manchester United has conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations made against him,’ the club said.
‘This has drawn on extensive evidence and context not in the public domain, and we have heard from numerous people with direct involvement or knowledge of the case.
Manchester United contacted key stakeholders to get their opinions while manager Erik ten Hag also said that he shared his opinion with the club
‘Throughout this process, the welfare and perspective of the alleged victim has been central to the club’s inquiries, and we respect her right to lifelong anonymity.
‘We also have responsibilities to Mason as an employee, as a young person who has been with the club since the age of seven, and as a new father with a partner.
‘The fact-finding phase of our investigation is now complete, and we are in the final stages of making a decision on Mason’s future.
‘Contrary to media speculation, that decision has not yet been made and is currently the subject of intensive internal deliberation. Responsibility ultimately rests with the Chief Executive Officer.
‘Once made, the decision will be communicated and explained to the club’s internal and external stakeholders.
‘This has been a difficult case for everyone associated with Manchester United, and we understand the strong opinions it has provoked based on the partial evidence in the public domain. We ask for patience as we work through the final stages of this carefully considered process.’
He is currently under contract on £75,000-per-week for another two years until 2025 with the option of additional year.
He has been seen working out with a fitness trainer at a local public pitch, and his former United team-mate Anthony Elanga who has now joined Nottingham Forest.
And Greenwood’s entourage threatened a filmmaker as he took footage of the Manchester United forward training in a public park. He has been training on his own on public pitches under the supervision of his father Andrew.
John Gubba, who runs the Man Utd The Religion YouTube channel, revealed in a video that Greenwood’s entourage took exception to him filming one of these training sessions.
Gubba’s video shows Greenwood taking part in some shooting practice in what the filmmaker says was a ‘publicly accessible venue with no security’ and ‘away from Manchester United’.
He says a ‘thug’ from Greenwood’s entourage told him: ‘If you weren’t surrounded by witnesses we would rip that camera out of your hand and destroy your equipment.’
Responding to questions about Greenwood’s future on the first leg of United’s summer tour of the US in New Jersey earlier this month, manager Erik ten Hag said: ‘It’s a club decision and, of course, I’ve shared my opinions but it’s a club decision and we all have to accept that.
‘I can’t say so much about it but I shared my opinion about it, so let’s see what’s going to happen.’
There had been reports that Greenwood, whose last outing for United was in a 1-0 win over West Ham in January 2022, is desperate to remain at the club.
Greenwood’s last outing for United came in a home win over West Ham in January 2022
Greenwood was filmed taking part in some shooting drills on a public pitch
He also told friends he has realised he must grow up, according to The Sun.
Greenwood had been linked with a loan move to Atalanta and possible switches to Turkey but United have decided he can stay and work his way back into Ten Hag’s side.
There were also suggestions he could be used as a makeweight as part of United’s bid to sign Rasmus Hojlund from the Serie ‘A’ outfit.
It’s understood that United’s football director John Murtough had discussed the possibility of Greenwood making a temporary move to Atalanta during his negotiations with the Italian club over talented striker Hojlund, who joined United for £72m.
Greenwood was also thought to have rented out his Cheshire home.
United legend Wayne Rooney had urged Greenwood to leave so he could play regularly following his lengthy absence from the game.
Rooney told The Athletic: ‘It leaves Mason Greenwood in a position where he is stuck. So for Mason, it’s a bad position to be in because I’m sure he just wants to play football.
‘But for the club, its image and ensuring they make the right decisions, it’s almost a catch-22. I think the best thing for Mason now is to get out of the club and go and develop somewhere else.
‘He needs to get back playing because it has been a long time. With everything that has happened and how long the internal investigation has taken, it’s probably got to a place now where Mason just needs to go and play and to try and get his career back on track.’