Manchester United said Wednesday they are working “through the final stages” of an internal investigation before deciding whether Mason Greenwood will return to playing for the club.
The 21-year-old forward has been suspended by the Premier League giants since January 30, 2022, over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.
Greenwood was facing criminal charges, including attempted rape and sexual assault, until the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for England and Wales announced in February that the case had been discontinued.
The CPS said the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light were factors in their decision to stop the case against him.
Greenwood has remained suspended by United, with the club having ditched plans to make an announcement regarding his future before the start of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
The club faced widespread criticism after saying earlier this month they would consult their women’s players still at the World Cup, including the England trio of Mary Earps, Ella Toone and Katie Zelem, who have helped the national side reach Sunday’s final in Sydney, before reaching a decision about Greenwood.
In a statement issued Wednesday, United acknowledged responsibility for a decision about Greenwood’s future at Old Trafford “ultimately rests with the chief executive officer (Richard Arnold)”.
The statement also said: “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.
“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…
“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.”
The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Arnold told the club’s executive leadership in the first week of August that United were planning to bring Greenwood back.
Greenwood, a graduate of United’s youth academy, has scored 35 goals in 129 senior appearances for the club.
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