Steven Gerrard has rubbished speculation he will allow Mason Greenwood to rebuild his career at Al-Ettifaq as reports suggest Saudi Arabian clubs are set to swerve a move for the forward.
The 21-year-old England international is searching for a new team after it was mutually agreed he would leave Manchester United on Monday following a six-month internal investigation into his conduct.
But reacting to a headline which claimed Gerrard was considering a move for Greenwood, the former England midfielder and now manager at Al-Ettifaq said simply on his Instagram story: ‘Fake news.’
Both the BBC and Telegraph cite senior sources at the Saudi Pro League who indicate the serious nature of the allegations involving Greenwood are likely to preclude one of their clubs from signing him.
It has also become clear that Roma – managed by former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho – do not want to be associated with Greenwood.
Italian outlet Il Tempo, via Roma Press, have claimed Roma do not want to bring Greenwood to the club as they look to distance themselves from the 21-year-old.
Roma need a striker but it is thought that Mourinho does not want to be associated with the former Manchester United striker.
Greenwood was suspended by United in January 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.
Charges including attempted rape and assault were discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service in February this year but reports he was set to be retained by United were met with a public outcry.
United’s handling of the case was described as “pretty horrible” by their former captain Gary Neville, who accused his former employers of lacking leadership and dragging out the inquiry.
Manchester United fan and Countdown star Rachel Riley, who has been outspoken about the situation, told the News Agents podcast: “The statement that was put out proclaimed someone innocent from a position that they didn’t have any authority to do. That was way beyond the remit of Manchester United to even look into the criminal guilt or innocence, never mind the civil level of guilt or innocence.
“I think it’s gaslighting for people to have two statements saying, Mason Greenwood himself saying he’s been cleared of all charges, which is not the case, the claims were dropped because the key witness dropped out, and they [United] claim new evidence. It puts wind in the sails of people who think they can get away with abuse everywhere. And I think for victims, it’s a slap in the face. It says you’re better to keep quiet.
“I’ve never been more ashamed of the club. I think it’s just a disgrace. And they had another opportunity to make it right, make a good statement and they have just greenlighted the abuse that’s been going on on social media.”
Greenwood said in a statement on Monday he “did not do the things I was accused of” but added he had “made mistakes” and took his “share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post”.
United said in their statement: “All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United.”
The PA news agency understands the club are working with Greenwood’s family to find the right environment for him to continue his career, with discussions under way to find the correct solution.