Mason Greenwood is prepared to make a dramatic transfer to Asia to restart his football career if Manchester United sack him following their investigation, according to reports.
On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm had been dropped against the 21-year-old.
A spokesperson for the CPS later revealed that a key witness had withdrawn which, coupled with new material coming to light, meant there was ‘no longer a realistic prospect of conviction’.
Greenwood was arrested in January of last year and has not played for United since then, with the club now carrying out their own internal investigation to decide the next steps they will take.
The forward will not train or play for the club while that ‘process’ is carried out and there would likely be a significant backlash if he was welcomed back into the first-team squad.
Now The Sun claim Greenwood feels he may not be able to play at United
or indeed any club in England due to the reaction he would likely
receive and is prepared to go very far afield to resume playing
Greenwood at Minshull Street Crown Court in November
Incredibly, a source close to the striker claims he could even be willing to play in China and would be wary of playing for United again even if he was welcomed back, having felt they provided little support when he was first arrested.
The source told The Sun: ‘At the time he was adamant he didn’t want to put on the red shirt again. He felt like the club didn’t stand by him.
‘He said he would be happy to go and play in China as long as that meant he was getting paid well and was playing. His view may have softened over the last few months, but he was not happy at all.’
It is also claimed that Greenwood feels he would struggle emotionally to deal with the abuse he would receive from opposition fans if he played again in England.
Another report from The Guardian says staff at United are ‘split’ over whether the youngster should be allowed to resume his career at Old Trafford, with many deeply unhappy at the prospect of Greenwood returning – though offers feel they have a ‘duty of care’ toward a player who joined the academy at the age of seven.
Greenwood released a brief statement after the charges were dropped, saying: ‘I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.’
Manager Erik ten Hag rebuffed questions at a press conference on Friday. ‘I can’t give a comment about the process,’ he said. ‘I can’t say anything about it. I refer to the statement of the club and at this moment I can’t add anything.’