Erik ten Hag reportedly told Mason Greenwood that his chances of returning to the Manchester United first squad are entirely dependent on the club, not him. The Dutchman is said to have had his first formal conversation with the 21-year-old forward after the Crown Prosecution Service exonerated him of attempted rape and assault charges on February 2.
Greenwood is still suspended by the Red Devils, and it is unclear whether he will be permitted to return to Old Trafford after not playing for the club since January 2022.
Nonetheless, The Sun reports that Ten Hag was eager to contact Greenwood to find out how he was feeling following the incidents.
Ten Hag has yet to work with the highly-rated attacker since replacing Ralf Rangnick, but he appeared eager to offer Greenwood with clarity on where he stands.
“Mason has spent a long time with very little — if any — communication with the club,” a source told The Sun, describing a personal phone chat between the two. When they communicated, it was never directly and always through a third party. So the manager calling him was a major step for him, and he appreciated it.
“The manager asked how he was feeling physically and mentally and expressed his relief that the charges had been dropped.
“He felt it was the correct thing to do to contact Mason.
“But he was clear it will be the club rather than him which will decide if Mason can play for United again.”
Manchester United are keen to take their time before reaching a decision on Greenwood’s future, knowing that allowing him to return would subject them to intense scrutiny.
The Red Devils are conducting their own internal probe as part of their decision, which might come at any moment between now and the season’s finale.
“Manchester United notes the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dismissed,” the club said in a statement released last week.
“The club will now conduct its own investigation before deciding on the following steps. We will not say further until that process is completed.”
According to reports, some of United’s veteran players are opposed to Greenwood’s return.
Following his initial arrest in early 2022, a number of the club’s first-team squad unfollowed Greenwood on social media channels.
Greenwood’s current deal, which is worth roughly £100,000 per week, is set to expire in June 2025.
Nike has since dropped the England star, and he was also removed from the video game FIFA last year.
Nike announced earlier this week that they have no plans to re-establish their old partnership with Greenwood once the charges were dropped.