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Manchester United bosses deny they have made a decision on Mason Greenwood return
16 August 2023, 16:21 | Updated: 16 August 2023, 16:27
Manchester United have denied that they have made a decision on the return of Mason Greenwood to the side, contrary to "media speculation".
Greenwood has not played for the Premier League club since he was arrested for attempted rape, assault and coercive control last January, although the case was dropped.
The club has remained tight-lipped over whether the player, 21, will return after they carried out their own probe.
A report in sports outlet The Athletic claimed that the club's CEO told other top executives that Greenwood would be coming back.
Manchester United denied this but admitted that they were in "the final stages" of the decision-making process.
In a statement the club said: "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."
The Athletic report claimed that CEO Richard Arnold had been due to announce the return of Greenwood in a video on August 4. Greenwood would not be making any appearances with the club's charitable arm, despite his return to the first-team set-up, the outlet reported.
Greenwood's future at the club has remained unclear amid the five-month club investigation into his case, after the police probe was dropped.
Earlier Collette Roche, Manchester United's chief operating officer earlier told The Athletic:"We’ve done a really detailed and thorough internal investigation and we’ve asked as many people as we can around what happened and try to understand it beyond the original investigation done by the police.
"You’d expect us to engage with people who were relevant in terms of stakeholder groups. And now we just need to make the decision. That decision is firmly a decision that’s on us.”
United manager Erik ten Hag and the majority of the first team have suggested they were open to the idea of bringing the Greenwood back.
But it is understood United's women's team and club sponsors have concerns about being linked to the player.
And on Monday female fans led a protest before the club's first game of the season against Wolves.
Protester won't support Manchester United if Mason Greenwood returns
Rick McGagh, head of fan engagement at the club, re-iterated the decision remains firmly with the club after women's players were targeted following claims they would contribute to the end result.
He said: "It’s not accurate to say we’ve had full consultation with the fan advisory board on what decision we’re making.
"This is not a consultation.”
Retired police officer refutes claims that there's no evidence against Mason Greenwood
Last week, Greenwood was seen training in a park with a personal footballing coach.
His dad Andrew was seen holding his baby granddaughter, who Greenwood's partner Harriet Robson gave birth to last month.