Manchester United are at loggerheads over Mason Greenwood’s return, despite Erik ten Hag being open for a move
According to the Athletic [subscription required] (h/t the Sun), Manchester United are divided on the decision to give Mason Greenwood the chance to return, even though manager Erik ten Hag is open to the youngster’s return.
The 21-year-old player has been absent from both club and national team activities since January 2022.
This absence follows his arrest over a year ago on multiple allegations, including attempted rape, assault, and controlling and coercive behaviour. Consequently, Man United suspended him indefinitely.
However, in February of this year, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to drop all charges on the striker due to the withdrawal of key witnesses.
As a result of the dropped charges, the English striker awaits a return to United as well as a potential comeback to international football.
The resolution of the legal proceedings has created an opportunity for his return, but the final decision rests with the club and its management.
Greenwood, having resumed full training, is making progress towards a potential comeback in football. However, his training sessions are currently taking place away from United’s Carrington complex, behind closed doors.
According to a recent update from The Athletic, it has been revealed what manager Ten Hag would like to do with Greenwood. The report suggests that the Dutch boss will depend on the results of United’s internal investigation regarding Greenwood’s situation.
If the investigation clears the academy graduate to resume his professional football career, Ten Hag is reportedly “open” to the idea of reintegrating the forward into United’s first-team squad.
Hence, the final decision regarding Greenwood’s future will depend on the outcome of United’s probe and the subsequent agreement between club officials.
The manager believes that the academy graduate has a role to play in his team, and his opinion will hold significance when the final decision is made regarding the player’s future.
However, the ultimate authority to make this decision lies with United’s chief executive, Richard Arnold, and co-owner, Joel Glazer.
Considering this, various possibilities are being considered, ranging from terminating Greenwood’s contract to fully reintegrating him into the team or arranging a loan exit or permanent sale.
Nevertheless, the report highlights that there is a possibility that United intends to retain the English star.
As a result, the two most probable outcomes appear to be either his comeback to the team or a loan move. As stated by the Sun, AS Roma have recently expressed interest in loaning Greenwood.
However, the youngster’s arrival could potentially eliminate the need to sign a new centre-forward in the transfer market. In our opinion, the Red Devils should not let their plans to invest in a new striker directly impact their decision regarding Greenwood.
Still, the final decision will require careful analysis, ensuring that the player’s return is not solely influenced by financial considerations.
In this case, if Greenwood were to be reintegrated back into the first team, there appears to be a widespread belief that there is a difference of opinion between the football operations and commercial departments of the club.
The report from the Athletic suggests that varying perspectives exist regarding the best course of action for Greenwood‘s return, with potential divisions between those focused on football-related matters and those considering commercial implications.
The striker’s exceptional talent makes it logical for the footballing side of Manchester to desire his availability for selection.
However, concerns arise from a commercial perspective, as there are potential repercussions associated with bringing Greenwood back. For instance, Nike previously ended their branding association with the English player, and club sponsors have reportedly expressed concerns to United staff.
Furthermore, members of the Man United women’s team have voiced their concerns about Greenwood’s proposed return. These factors contribute to a complex decision-making process.
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Ultimately, the final decision rests with Arnold and Glazer, with input from Ten Hag. They will consider the outcome of United’s investigation and determine whether there are any valid reasons for Greenwood to remain sidelined.
The story still has a long way to go. For many fans, he should be binned. For others, since he has no case to answer, he should be back in the squad. It is a topic that will continue to divide the fanbase even after the decision on his future has been taken.