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Mason Greenwood to leave Man Utd after club investigation

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Mason Greenwood and Manchester United have mutually agreed that he will leave the club after a six-month investigation into his conduct.

United launched a probe into the circumstances around Greenwood’s arrest on suspicion of rape and assault after criminal charges against the footballer were dropped in February.

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 after images and an audio file were circulated online.

In a statement issued on Monday, United said that they have “concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged” but announced that the 21-year-old will be leaving Old Trafford.

Sources have told ESPN that Greenwood’s contract, which runs until 2025, has not been terminated, but he is not expected to play for the club again. United will consider loan offers as well as a permanent move away, sources said.

The statement issued by United read: “All those involved, including Mason, recognise the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United.

“It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will now work with Mason to achieve that outcome.”

In a separate statement, Greenwood, who has been suspended from training and matches since his initial arrest, said he “did not do the things I was accused of” but accepted that the decision to leave United was “best for us all.”

Mason Greenwood is now set to depart Manchester United. Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Sources told ESPN that he will remain on full pay while the club work to secure him a new club but he will not be allowed to train at Carrington, even on an individual programme away from Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad.

His statement read: “I fully accept I made mistakes in my relationship, and I take my share of responsibility for the situations which led to the social media post.

“Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me. The best decision for us all, is for me to continue my football career away from Old Trafford, where my presence will not be a distraction for the club.”

Alongside the statements issued by United and Greenwood, United CEO Richard Arnold — who made the final decision that Greenwood should leave the club — sent an open letter to supporters to be “transparent with our fans about the process and the reasons for our decision.”

Arnold said that during the club’s investigation, they had been “provided with alternative explanations for the audio recording, which was a short excerpt from a much longer recording, and for the images posted online” and that the woman’s family had participated in the process.

“While I am satisfied that Mason did not commit the acts he was charged with, Mason’s accepted that he has made mistakes which he takes responsibility for,” Arnold wrote.

“I am also mindful of the challenge that Mason would face rebuilding his career and raising a baby together with his partner in the harsh spotlight of Manchester United. Further, this case has provoked strong opinions, and it is my responsibility to minimise any distraction to the unity we are seeking within the club.

“Although we have decided that Mason will seek to rebuild his career away from Manchester United, that does not signal the end of this matter. The club will continue to offer its support both to the alleged victim and Mason to help them rebuild and move forward positively with their lives.”

United’s investigation, which began once criminal proceedings were dropped, was conducted by a panel of senior executives, and their evidence was passed to Arnold.

Sources told ESPN that, based on the findings, the club do not believe Greenwood physically abused the woman and, based on conversations with the woman’s mother, do not believe he was guilty of coercive behaviour.

According to sources, the woman did not engage with the club directly but was given the opportunity to correct any findings.

Sources told ESPN that the woman withdrew her allegations and her support of the police investigation in April 2022.

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Xavi faces sack at Barcelona

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Barcelona are poised to sack coach Xavi Hernandez just weeks after he made a U-turn and decided to stay at the club, Spanish

Barcelona are poised to sack coach Xavi Hernandez just weeks after he made a U-turn and decided to stay at the club, Spanish media has reported.

Catalan radio station RAC-1 said president Joan Laporta had decided to sack Xavi, with daily newspaper Sport confirming the news, while AS said Barcelona were already deciding who would replace the coach.

In January, Xavi said he would leave at the end of the season but, after a run of strong form, in April he and president Joan Laporta agreed the coach would stay for the next campaign, with his contract expiring in June 2025.

However, Laporta did not travel with the team for their 2-0 in at Almeria in La Liga on Thursday, with Spanish media reporting he was angry with Xavi’s pre-match comments.

The coach had highlighted Barcelona’s financial difficulties in comparison to the strength of new Spanish champions Real Madrid and other European giants.

“Barcelona fans have to understand, we’re not in the same situation (as those clubs),” said Xavi on Wednesday.

The coach stood by his words on Thursday when he was asked about Laporta not attending the Almeria match.

“They haven’t told me anything personally… We travelled with the sporting vice-president, more directors, all normally,” Xavi told reporters late Thursday. “I said what I think is real, that we will fight for all the trophies, with a lot of hope, with ambition, but that the situation is not easy.

“We are working very well, the club most of all, to change this situation.”

Barcelona won La Liga last season but were not able to defend the title. They went out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals to Paris Saint-Germain and will end the season trophy less.

Real Madrid thrashed Barca in the Spanish Super Cup final while Athletic Bilbao eliminated them in the Copa del Rey.

In April, Xavi, 44, said he was “full of hope” and that fans, players and “above all the confidence of the president and (sporting director) Deco” was what convinced him to stay.

Laporta said at the time that he was glad Xavi would remain at the helm and that it was good for the stability of the club.

“It’s great news that Xavi is staying,” the president told a news conference.

“The team we have, that is (still) consolidating, with very young players, needs that stability.

“Xavi is a reference for young players and we can see that – today I’m especially pleased, and the board have unanimously supported this decision.”

Laporta appointed Xavi, one of Barcelona’s greatest ever midfielders, to replace Ronald Koeman in November 2021.

As a player, Xavi made 767 appearances for Barcelona, winning four Champions Leagues and eight La Liga titles, as well as the World Cup with Spain.

During his time as Barcelona coach, he lifted the Spanish Super Cup last season, along with the league title.

 

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Kane to miss Bayern’s game at Hoffenheim

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Harry Kane will miss Bayern Munich's final game of the season with a back injury - less than a week before Gareth Southgate announces his

Harry Kane will miss Bayern Munich’s final game of the season with a back injury – less than a week before Gareth Southgate announces his England squad for Euro 2024.

Bayern end their campaign at Hoffenheim on Saturday – live on Sky Sports – but Kane has not travelled with the squad.

“Harry Kane is receiving treatment from his personal doctor,” said Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel. “He can’t travel with us.”

Kane has not played since being replaced late in Bayern’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg earlier this month.

Bayern were leading 1-0 in the Bernabeu – and 3-2 on aggregate – when Kane was replaced but conceded two late goals to exit the competition.

Tuchel explained after that defeat that striker Kane had suffered a back injury and on Friday he said: “It was already questionable in Madrid. It’s gotten worse.”

Bayern have endured a difficult campaign, failing to win the Bundesliga for the first time in 12 seasons and exiting the DFB Pokal to third-tier Saarbrucken.

owever, Kane has enjoyed a prolific campaign on an individual level, scoring 44 goals in 45 games across all competitions after joining Bayern from Tottenham in August.

 

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Van Persie lands first managerial role with Heerenveen

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Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has been appointed as manager of Eredivisie side Heerenveen, the

Former Arsenal and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie has been appointed as manager of Eredivisie side Heerenveen, the Dutch club has announced.

The 40-year-old, who retired from playing in 2019, has signed a two-year contract in his first role as manager of a senior team.

He has previously spent time working at Feyenoord, the club he began and ended his playing career with, where he took charge of the under-18s side.

Van Persie is the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands national team and was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2012, one year before he won the Premier League title with Manchester United.

Heerenveen, who are 10th in the Eredivisie, face Sparta Rotterdam in their final match of the season tomorrow.

 

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