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Mason Greenwood: Man Utd transfer in danger of collapse as Marseille mayor speaks out amid fan protest

Marseille have been criticised for their move for Man Utd outcast Mason Greenwood

Marseille have been criticised for their move for Man Utd outcast Mason Greenwood

Marseille’s pursuit of exiled Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has been strongly opposed by the mayor of the club’s city, casting doubt on a potential deal.

The Red Devils have been desperate to find a buyer for Greenwood following his arrest in January 2022 for attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

All charges were dropped against him following the withdrawal of the cooperation of key witnesses.

This ultimately led to Greenwood’s return to football. The 22-year-old was impressive on loan at Getafe last season but Man Utd have been working hard to offload him permanently.

It seemed they’d finally got their wish when it was reported on Tuesday that Marseille had agreed a fee of just under £27m (including add-ons) for Greenwood.

Man Utd will also receive a ‘large share’ of any future sell-on fee if the transfer is completed. While the agreement is finalised between clubs, Greenwood is yet to give the green light to the move.

And now Marseille’s mayor, Benoit Payan, has spoken out strongly against the potential transfer. “I do not want my club to be covered in shame,” Payan told RMC Sport, adding: “It is not acceptable.”

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Marseille fans protest, Roberto de Zerbi responds

Greenwood was reportedly back at Man Utd’s training ground on Monday for discussions about his future, but wasn’t involved in the first team’s sessions with Erik ten Hag.

Payan’s comments about Greenwood come after a group of Marseille supporters protested against the club’s move for him, with some using the #GreenwoodNotWelcome hashtag online.

“At a time when negotiations for the arrival of Mason Greenwood are announced as becoming increasingly advanced, it seems necessary to explain, once again and before the damage becomes irreversible, why this transfer seems inconceivable in view of the values displayed by the club and why it would mean for many of us a red line that would irreparably damage the passion that we have for this club,” a statement on a Marseille Forum reads, as cited by The Mirror.

Marseille boss Roberto de Zerbi was asked his response to the protests, and said: “Greenwood isn’t recruited yet, so there isn’t much to say.

“He’s a champion, an international level player. I don’t know what happened, I’m not concentrating on private lives. When a player signs for the club, I consider him my child.

“Even if I can pull his ear in private, I will defend him publicly. My players are like my sons.”

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