Mason Greenwood, the 21-year-old forward, seems unlikely to transfer to the Saudi Pro League, despite recent indications that Saudi Arabia could provide a pathway for him to rejuvenate his career.
Manchester United revealed earlier this week that the choice had been made for Greenwood to leave. This decision comes after Greenwood was arrested last year on suspicion of rape and assault, following allegations made by a woman. Additional arrests were made for sexual assault and threats to kill. Alongside the charges of attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault causing actual bodily harm, the situation looked bleak. However, all charges were dropped in February, leaving Greenwood free to play during the 2023-24 season.
Although he will no longer represent Manchester United, Greenwood’s contract is not being annulled, and both parties are actively seeking a club for him to resume his professional career.
Speculation arose that the Saudi Pro League might be a profitable destination for Greenwood. However, reports from The Mirror suggest that this option seems improbable, with the clubs expressing concern over public backlash that might arise from such a deal.
The narrative surrounding Greenwood’s possible arrival in Saudi Arabia has been described by many leading figures as potentially harmful to the league, particularly during a significant period marked by the addition of several big names to the Saudi Pro League this summer.
While Roma, and clubs from Turkey, have been associated with Greenwood, the Italian team is reportedly not considering an attempt to sign him at this time.
Among the Saudi clubs linked with Greenwood was Al Ettifaq, but its head coach, Steven Gerrard, swiftly labelled the rumours as “fake news” on Instagram.
BBC Sport has described the possibility of Greenwood’s arrival in Saudi Arabia as ‘very surprising’, given the league’s apparent opposition to such a move.
The Athletic has further reported that Manchester United’s original plan to bring the forward back was overturned due to substantial public reaction.
Though Greenwood is drawing attention from clubs within England, it seems a challenging prospect for him to move to another English team at this juncture in his career.
The possibility of a loan move is also being considered if a permanent departure proves too intricate to negotiate, given the multifaceted nature of Greenwood’s situation.