Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants Mason Greenwood back in the squad
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is willing to bring Mason Greenwood back into his squad.
He has made it clear he is happy for the suspended striker, 21, to play again after charges of attempted rape, assault and controlling and coercive behaviour were dropped earlier this year.
A reinstatement would trigger a wave of controversy, with United’s women players calling for Greenwood to go earlier this year.
The Sun understands most of his team-mates at Old Trafford would welcome him back into the dressing room if the club agrees.
But Old Trafford executives who deal with sponsors and commercial deals remain concerned about the effect on the club if he plays for them again.
United bosses began an investigation into the circumstances which led to his arrest in January 2022 after a woman made a series of allegations against him.
A source said: “Mason was delighted to hear that the manager and most of his team-mates would welcome him back.
“He firmly believes he is an innocent man and is very frustrated he’s not been able to play.
“He understands that the club have had to carry out an investigation, but he feels like his career is slipping by.
“He and his team have made clear to United that they now want to know what is happening.
“They have basically said, ‘sack him or back him’.
“If they want to reintegrate him, then do so. If they want to sell him, then tell him.
“And if they want to loan him out, then tell them so his team can find the best club for him.”
Any return by Greenwood would spark major controversy.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the Manchester United women’s team did not want him back.
The feeling was said to be “strong” that he should be let go.
Only three months ago, Natalie Burrell, founder of United Women’s Supporters’ Club, said she never wants to see him play for them again.
She added: “United need to make a statement and letting him back would be the worst thing they could do.
“It would set back our club in terms of what we’re trying to do with our women’s team and campaigns like Her Game Too, which aim to encourage women to play and watch football.
“I don’t want to see him training, in a kit, or coming out at Old Trafford again. And I’m confident they won’t (let him).”
It would see Greenwood retain his £75,000-a-week salary, with a possible option for the loan club to buy.
Greenwood, who has one full cap for England, last kicked a ball for United in January 2022.
He was charged in October last year and was due to stand trial in November this year.
Fans with shirts bearing his name were told they could exchange them for free and the club removed all Greenwood-related merchandise from its website and megastore.
But the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew the case on February 2 after Greenwood’s alleged victim and a dozen more witnesses refused to co-operate.
Greenwood hoped the move would leave him clear to start playing for United again. But the club instead immediately launched its own investigation.
Meanwhile, United are in the middle of a potential sale.
But a final decision is expected to be made by United’s owners, the Glazer family, pictured above Joel Glazer with brothers Avram and Bryan in 2005Credit: Getty