Erik ten Hag cannot comment on Man Utd’s investigation into Mason Greenwood

Erik ten Hag refused to comment on Manchester United’s internal investigation into Mason Greenwood after the criminal charges against the forward were dropped.

Greenwood, 21, was facing charges including attempted rape and assault but the Crown Prosecution Service announced on Thursday that the case was closed because “withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light made that prospect unrealistic conviction no longer exists. “.

United then issued their own statement which said “the club will now undertake its own process before deciding on the next steps”.

Ten Hag was asked about Greenwood at a press conference on Friday but would go no further than the club’s statement.

“I can’t add anything,” said the United boss. “I refer to the club’s statement. At this moment, I cannot comment on the process.

“I can’t say anything about it, I refer to the club’s statement and at the moment I can’t add anything.”

Greenwood, who has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, has been suspended from both training and playing for the club since his arrest in January 2022.

Mason Greenwood court case

Criminal charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped (Paul Currie/PA)

Asked if Thursday’s news had any effect on his preparations for Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace, which United drew 1-1 at Selhurst Park on January 18, Ten Hag said : “We must always focus on the game, no matter what. , it’s our job. That is why we are here.

“We have a lot to do against them. Two weeks ago we had a bad performance there, I was not happy with the performance from us. It was 90 percent focus and energy and we dropped two points.

“We have to avoid that tomorrow. We need a better game tomorrow, better focus in the game, but especially better behavior in the way we play because we have to beat them because that is quite clear.”

Ten Hag said Marcel Sabitzer would be in the squad for Saturday’s game and could make his debut after arriving on loan from Bayern Munich on deadline day.

Sabitzer was brought in to provide cover for United’s stretched midfield following long-term injuries to Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek, while Scott McTominay is also currently on the sidelines.

“He’s only done one session but you can see he’s a very fit player,” Ten Hag said of the 28-year-old Austrian.

“I didn’t have different expectations coming from Bayern Munich. In Germany their fitness is always good. I think he’s ready to play.”

United defender Raphael Varane announced his retirement from international football on Thursday after a career in France that saw him win the World Cup in 2018 and finish as runner-up last year in Qatar.

The Frenchman’s loss could be United’s gain if the 29-year-old is able to extend his club career.

“For United, I think it’s good news,” said Ten Hag. “Rapha managed to achieve everything in terms of football club wise but also his nation.

“What he has achieved is incredible, much respect, and I am happy that he brings all his energy and experience into the team.”

Ten Hag recalled forward Jadon Sancho after a three-month absence from first-team football in midweek and the 22-year-old thanked fans on Friday night for their support.

Sancho, who came off the bench in the second half after taking time out to recover from physical and mental issues, said on Twitter: “Wow! I want to thank everyone for the support I have received in the last few weeks especially the fans.

“My focus is to give my all to my team and the club, I’m very happy to be back on the pitch, I’ll see you soon.”

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