Manchester United are preparing for the summer transfer season following the conclusion of the 2022-23 campaign. Among their considerations is the future of suspended forward Mason Greenwood, who is reportedly set for a potential year-long loan, possibly leading to a permanent transfer to a European outfit.
In the wake of Greenwood's suspension and continued £75,000 weekly wage, the Red Devils have been tight-lipped about the player's future. With his contract in place for another two years and the club seemingly unenthusiastic about his return, an alternate plan is essential.
Juventus, the Italian football titan, has emerged as the lead contender to acquire the 21-year-old striker, reports The Sun. Though the Bianconeri won't feature in the UEFA Champions League next season, Greenwood will have a chance to continue his career in one of Europe's premier leagues. AC Milan and Roma are also purportedly interested in bringing the Englishman to the Serie A, with clubs from Spain and Turkey also eyeing Greenwood.
Why isn't Manchester United ready to welcome Greenwood back? Greenwood has been on enforced leave for about eighteen months following his arrest due to rape and assault allegations made by a former girlfriend in January of last year. This arrest stalled a promising career, as Manchester United chose to suspend him from all club activities pending the investigation.
Although the charges were dropped in February of this year, more than a year after his initial arrest, Greenwood has not been exonerated. The Crown Prosecution Service clarified in a statement that the case was dropped due to "a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light [which] meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case."
Key witnesses linked to the case reportedly decided to cease their cooperation, leading to the court's decision to abandon the case for undisclosed reasons.
Despite this turn of events, Manchester United initiated an internal probe, which has been ongoing for over four months. During this period, Greenwood has remained barred from squad activities.
No Premier League takers for Greenwood Manchester United's apparent reluctance to accelerate the case, even while continuing to pay Greenwood's wages, signals their unwillingness to stoke public anger by allowing him to play before a definitive verdict.
Therefore, it's unlikely another Premier League club would risk public relations backlash by recruiting Greenwood. Although Manchester United would prefer to find potential buyers, a loan deal seems their most viable course of action.
This way, Manchester United can offset potential losses that would come with terminating Greenwood's contract, and could profit if the loaned club eventually exercises a purchase option.
Furthermore, a year-long loan would provide Greenwood an opportunity to demonstrate his skills, which have been dormant due to his absence from competitive football for over a year. Public response to his re-entry to the pitch will also guide United in determining his future.