Police get extra time to question Greenwood

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Manchester United have removed all Mason Greenwood merchandise from their online store after the club’s star striker was arrested on rape and assault charges on Sunday. Greenwood remains in custody and police have been given more time to question him.

Most of Greenwood’s teammates have also unfollowed him on social media after United suspended the 20-year-old indefinitely on Sunday. The club has also reportedly decided not to provide any legal help to the player, with the latter arranging personal representation. A search for Greenwood merchandise on the club’s official website returned a message: “Sorry, your search for Greenwood did not match any products.”

On Monday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed in a statement that detectives have been given additional time to question them. “Detectives have been given additional time to speak with a man in his 20s who is being held on suspicion of rape and battery on a woman,” the statement said.

He added: “The suspect was arrested yesterday (Sunday, January 30) afternoon and remains in custody. Investigations are ongoing and specialized support is offered to the victim.

“We remind people to avoid any comments or sharing images that could compromise the victim’s right to lifelong anonymity, or risk undermining a live investigation with active proceedings.”

The arrest follows a post on Instagram, capturing photos and videos of a young woman with multiple cuts and bruises and blood spurting from a wound. The woman also shared an audio clip in which a man is heard threatening a woman for refusing to have sex with him.

The posts have since been deleted.

United had initially said it “does not condone violence of any kind”, but a second statement confirmed the player’s suspension, saying: “Mason Greenwood will not return to training or playing matches until further notice.”

Greenwood is paid £75,000 a week and The Sun reported, citing a source, that he would receive his salary while suspended. But sportswear giant Nike has called off his relationship with the footballer, in a statement to the BBC saying: “We have called off our relationship with Mason Greenwood. We are deeply concerned about the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Greenwood joined United aged six, rising through the ranks and becoming the club’s youngest player to appear in a Champions League match at 17, against PSG in 2019. So far, in 129 appearances for United, has scored 35 goals. The 2019-20 season was when he shot to stardom, scoring 16 goals in all competitions. In the current season, the full-back, who can also play as No. 9, has scored six times.

In between, Greenwood played for England under Gareth Southgate, but was sacked by one side, after he and Phil Foden smuggled the girls into the team hotel in Iceland while on national team duty. Greenwood had issued an apology, promising to learn from his mistakes.

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