Marseille mayor tells Ligue 1 giants not to sign Mason Greenwood

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  • Lazio remain keen on 22-year-old
Marseille have agreed a deal with Manchester United for Greenwood
Marseille have agreed a deal with Manchester United for Greenwood / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

The mayor of Marseille has urged the club not to complete a move for Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood due to the "unspeakable" allegations previously made against the 22-year-old.

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 on charges of attempted rape, assault and coercive control after a series of images and audio clips emerged on social media. The investigation was discontinued in February 2023.

United have informed Greenwood, who spent last season on loan at Getafe, that he has no future at the club and a deal to sell the striker to Marseille has been agreed.

But city mayor Benoit Payan has said he will speak to Marseille's club president Pablo Longoria to urge him not to sign Greenwood because of his "unacceptablee" actions.

"Greenwood's behaviour is unspeakable, unacceptable," Payan told RMC Sport. "Hitting his partner... I saw images that deeply shocked me. Massacring his partner in this way is unworthy of a man and I believe he cannot have a place in this team.

"The values ​​of Marseille and the values ​​of Olympique de Marseille are anything but that. It's anything but racism, anti-Semitism. It's anything but. Can you imagine, violence against women? Do you realise that? And he claims to play for Olympique de Marseille, Greenwood? It's a disgrace.

"I will ask the president of Olympique de Marseille not to recruit Greenwood. I do not want my club to be covered in the shame of someone who hits his partner. I do not want my club to be covered in the ashes of someone who hits his partner like that. It is not acceptable.

"I'm going to talk to [club president Longoria] about it and tell him. But he knows, in any case, what my convictions and my opinions are. And I've already told him that our history and our club is made up of people who come from different backgrounds.

Mason Greenwood
Greenwood is set to leave Man Utd / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

"Olympique de Marseille is more than a club. It is a spirit, and there is no place for those who behave in this way, for those who commit this kind of crime and offence. It is unbearable. I cannot imagine for a second that Pablo Longoria would make this major mistake."

New Marseille manager Roberto De Zerbi said on Tuesday that he would not treat Greenwood differently to any other player should he sign – a stance that drew significant criticism on social media.

"He hasn't been signed yet, I don't have much to say," the former Brighton boss said. "I can say that he's a champion, an international level player.

"I don't know his past, I don't know exactly what happened. I don't like to interfere in the private lives of players, I have nothing to say on the subject. The only thing I can tell you: no matter the player, once he signs for the club where I work, he becomes like my child, my son. I protect my players through thick and thin. I might pull their ears sometimes in private, but in public, I will always defend them."

Meanwhile, Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Lazio remain keen on striking a deal to sign Greenwood this summer.

Lazio expect to be able to follow Marseille in agreeing terms with United and believe they are in with a chance of convincing the forward to head to Italy over France.