Gareth Southgate opens door to future England return for Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood of Getafe CF celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Getafe CF and UD Las Palmas at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on March 02, 2024 in Getafe, Spain. 

England head coach Gareth Southgate has refused to rule out a return to the national team for Mason Greenwood at some stage in the future.

The 22-year-old's only cap for the Three Lions came against Iceland in late 2020, but he withdrew from the squad after the match, having broken COVID-19 quarantine guidelines alongside Phil Foden.

Following accusations from a woman, Greenwood was arrested two years ago on suspicion of rape and assault, and he was then further arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill.

The Englishman was also facing charges of attempted rape, engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but the case against him was dropped last February, with his last appearance for Manchester United coming in January 2022.

The forward is currently attempting to rebuild his career on loan at Getafe, and he has been in strong form for the Spanish club this season, scoring eight goals and registering five assists in 26 appearances.

Greenwood is set to return to Man United this summer, and the club's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe has hinted that he could potentially continue his career at Old Trafford.

However, it is still thought to be likely that the attacker will depart on a permanent basis this summer, with Atletico Madrid being linked with a move.

Southgate has ruled out Greenwood being involved in Euro 2024, but the England head coach has opened the door for the forward to potentially return to the set-up in the future.

"Well for me I don't think it's something for pre-Euros. I think allowing him to get his career going again abroad appears to have been a good move but I have to say I have not tracked it closely," Southgate told reporters.

"I think at this moment in time it would be a big distraction for the team and let's see where that leads next season. I would need to know more details about the whole thing before it was an option."

The forward has scored 35 goals and registered 12 assists in 129 matches for his parent club in all competitions, and he was regarded as one of the best youngsters in world football before his arrest.

Man United are believed to have made the decision to bring him back into their squad last summer before changing their mind due to the public backlash.

The 20-time English champions would allegedly want around £40m for Greenwood this summer, and it is understood that Barcelona are not in the running for his signature despite the recent speculation.

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