The 21-year-old was taken into custody at the end of January last year after he was charged with attempted rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour – with all of those accusations relating to the same woman.
He was suspended by United as an investigation was carried out and has not figured for the Red Devils since January 19, 2022.
It was revealed in February 2023 that the Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued proceedings against Greenwood due to the withdrawal of key witnesses and new evidence coming to light, with the CPS announcing that there was “no longer a realistic prospect of conviction”.
A source who worked with Greenwood at Old Trafford has told The Athletic that the Premier League club “were protective of him in different ways. He was an asset but they also wanted to help him reach his full potential. He made immature choices, but lots of young players do that, then they grow up a bit.”
United have rejected approaches from Turkish clubs for Greenwood since seeing criminal proceedings against him dropped, but he remains out of contention for selection at present and concerns regarding his behaviour remain.
It is alleged that regular absences from the Red Devils’ Carrington base have been unexplainable in the past, while he was dropped from the England squad in September 2020 after being caught – alongside Manchester City star Phil Foden – inviting girls into the Three Lions’ team hotel.
That was a serious breach of Covid-19 restrictions, but it was not the first time that Greenwood had flouted those rules.
The Athletic reports that he would head out driving around south west Manchester during lockdown, while also holding parties at a rented Airbnb address in Salford despite a ban on social gatherings.
No formal action was taken by police, but it is claimed that they did visit United’s training centre to request that the club keep the player on a tighter leash.
Another source said: “Most athletes don’t know they’re going to make it, but he falls into the category where at 10 years old he knew it was a certainty. These are fewer and farther between than people think. Frank Lampard, John Terry, David Beckham had to work their socks off.
“Mason had a Rooney-esque, Gazza-esque quality. In 999 out of 1,000 cases footballers are made, but he fits the born category. It is unexplainable why he can do some of the things he does. He can just score goals from impossible situations.”
Greenwood is now an expectant father, but it remains to be seen whether he will ever grace a football field in England again.
He is clinging to that hope, with a source adding: “He would run through a brick wall to be back playing for United now.”