Ornstein makes Man Utd, Mason Greenwood prediction amid ‘contingency plan’ claim

Lewis Oldham
Greenwood transfer
Mason Greenwood is being linked with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein has predicted whether Mason Greenwood will return to Manchester United ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Greenwood has spent this season on loan in La Liga with Getafe after Man Utd were forced into a summer U-turn after initially planning for the forward’s return.

The 22-year-old was facing charges relating to attempted rape and assault at the start of 2023 but the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the case against the Man Utd loanee following the withdrawal of key witnesses.

The Englishman has been in good form for Getafe this season as he has five goals and five assists in his 22 La Liga appearances. His performances have fuelled talk linking him with Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Conflicting reports have emerged concerning Greenwood’s potential return to Man Utd in recent months but new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe recently admitted that “no decision’s been made” yet.

“It’s quite clear we have to make a decision. No decision’s been made,” Ratcliffe told reporters.

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He added: “The process will be – understand the facts, not the hype, and then try and come to a fair decision on the basis of values, which is basically: is he a good guy or not?

“Could he play sincerely for Manchester United, (play) well and we’d be comfortable with it and the fans would be comfortable with it.”

Ornstein has acknowledged that “serious discussions need to take place” at Man Utd about Greenwood but he cannot see him making a return.

“I don’t think a decision has been made on Greenwood yet — some serious discussions will need to take place — but my feeling is he will not be returning to United. It might be that such an outcome will be driven as much by the player himself as by United,” Ornstein said via a Q&A for The Athletic.

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“If he does leave, I don’t know whether it will be on loan again or permanently, but you imagine a sale would appeal more (provided acceptable offers arrive) to help United’s financial fair play situation and generate funds for them to strengthen in the summer market.

Regarding Erik ten Hag, he added: “In terms of a manager, we have no clear indication as to which way INEOS will go with Erik ten Hag. Nearly two years into a three-year contract, which includes an option to extend by 12 months, Ten Hag will have to consider what he wants to do as well.

“They’re moving forward together and we have nothing firm to suggest that won’t continue, but every club looks at contingency plans.

“The various members of United’s fresh and developing hierarchy will each have their an idea about who the next manager could be but, again, this is only if they make a change. At the moment, I’m not aware of that happening.”