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GREEN LIGHT? Sir Jim Ratcliffe leaves door open for Mason Greenwood to make controversial return to Man Utd

MASON GREENWOOD and Jadon Sancho MIGHT have Manchester United futures.

But new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe will not allow either of them back to the club if he does not believe it is possible.

Greenwood, who went on loan to Getafe in September, has not featured for United since he was suspended after being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault in January 2022.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has left the door open to a potential return for Mason Greenwood

All charges were subsequently dropped but the Red Devils suggested the former England man was unlikely to return to the club.

Sancho is now back at Borussia Dortmund on loan after a huge fall-out with manager Erik ten Hag meant he was banished to the youth team in September.

And while Ratcliffe insisted he was talking about a general “principle” rather than either player specifically, he did not close the door definitively on the pair.

Ratcliffe said: “We will make a decision.

“I don’t know if he (Greenwood) could still have a future.

“All I can do is talk about the principle of how we will approach decisions like that.

“Is he the right type of footballer? Are we happy with that? Is he a good person or not?

“He (Greenwood) is a Manchester United footballer and we are in charge of football.

“So the answer is it’s quite clear we have to make a decision.

“There is no decision that’s been made. He’s on loan obviously but he’s not the only one.

“We’ve got one or two footballers that we have to deal with and we have to make a decision on – so we will do that.

“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 whether he is a good guy or not.

“Could he play sincerely for Manchester United well and would we be comfortable with it and the fans be comfortable with it?

“I can talk about the principle. The principle is the important one because we will have other issues going forwards.

“You are dealing with young people who have not always been brought up in the best circumstances, who have a lot of money and don’t always have the guidance they should have.

“What we need to do when we have issues like that is to understand the real effects, not the hype.

“Then we need to make a fair decision in the light of the club’s values. That’s what we need to do and that’s how we will deal with it.”

Greenwood has made a huge impact since arriving at Getafe.

He has scored five goals and assisted five more in 21 LaLiga appearances for the club.

His impressive form has even seen him linked with an incredible move to Barcelona.

But his time in LaLiga has also been shrouded in controversy after allegations of a row with fellow Englishman Jude Bellingham.

The latter is under investigation over claims he called Greenwood a ‘rapist’ when Getafe played Real Madrid earlier this year.

LaLiga have called in a lip reader to investigate a complaint by Getafe about the alleged slur, with a decision still pending.

Getafe boss Jose Bordales defended his player saying: “The only thing that I can say is that I ask for respect for Mason Greenwood because he is a great guy. He is a man who respects everyone and has exemplary behaviour.”

Ratcliffe on Old Trafford

Ratcliffe also revealed that his preference is to build a new stadium rather than redevelop Old Trafford.

The British billionaire called the current ground “tired and in need of refurbishment.”

He would like to build a so-called “Wembley of the North” as “it’s about time someone built a national stadium in the north of England.”

On where the new ground could be built, Ratcliffe said: “Trafford Park is where the industrial revolution began.

“If you look at that region of Manchester today – only a mile from the centre – it is tired and neglected and parts are quite run down.

“There is quite a big argument, in my view, for regenerating that whole south side of Manchester.

“The nucleus of it would be building a new world-class state-of-the-art stadium which could take England games, the FA Cup final, Champions League finals. It could serve the north of England.

“There is a bias in the UK in terms of where national stadiums have been built – they are all in the south.

“There is a lot of talk about levelling up. HS2 has been cancelled and all that is going to be spent on the rail network in London.

“The people in the north pay their taxes just as the people in the south.

“Why shouldn’t there be a venue in the north of England for England to play at? Why does everyone in the north have to go to the south for the semi-finals of the FA Cup?”

Ratcliffe is keen on building a new stadium to replace Old Trafford

Ratcliffe on Sheikh Jassim

Ratcliffe went toe-to-toe with Sheikh Jassim in the race to buy Man Utd.

But the Qatari banker eventually pulled out of the race as he wanted to buy all of the club.

And Ratcliffe made a cheeky dig at Jassim, claiming he has no idea who he is.

He said: “Still nobody’s ever seen him, actually, the Glazers never met him… he never… I’m not sure he exists.”

Ratcliffe on the Glazers

Ratcliffe was also asked about his relationship with the Glazer family.

He said: “We have a really good relationship with Joel and Avram, who are the only two of the siblings that we’ve got to know and have met, actually.

“There’s a fair amount of trust, I think, between us. They obviously are very comfortable with us running the sports side of the club.

“This is going to be a very sports-led club, it’s all going to be about performance on the pitch.

“We’re obviously going to be on the ground, whereas the Glazer family are a fair way away.

“It’s true that there could be a complete buy-out of their stake by someone else but there’s all sorts of scenarios – we might get hit by an asteroid.

“There’s been lots of opportunities for someone to come in and buy United in last 12 months and nobody has.

“I don’t think we’re going to be taking the legal agreements out of the bottom drawer. I just hope they gather dust and we never see them. Which it should be. It should be on the basis of a relationship.

“The Glazers really, from the beginning, preferred ourselves to the Qatari option – which in a way for them was a much easier option because they could just sell the whole thing and they would have walked away and financially done quite well.

“But they sort of stuck with us through the whole process even though it was a bit more complicated.

“That has forged a relationship. We’ve all got to know each other. You get to know people better in adversity than when the whole thing is going swimmingly.”

Ratcliffe on Ten Hag

Multiple managers have failed to bring the glory days back to Man Utd since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down.

And Ratcliffe instead took aim at the “environment” they had to work in instead of their coaching ability.

He said: “I’m not going to comment on the job he’s done because that would be inappropriate.

“What is relevant to that question is that, if you look at the 11 years that have gone since David Gill and Sir Alex stepped down, there has been a whole series of coaches.

“Some of them were very good but none of them has been successful or survived for very long.

“You can’t blame all the coaches. The only conclusion is that the environment in which they were working didn’t work.

“Erik’s been in that environment and what we have to do is make sure that environment, the organisation, the people in the structure, are right.

“We have to do that bit, so I’m not really focused on the coach but on getting that bit right. It’s not for me to judge that.

“But we’ve made some quite difficult decisions in our time in business. We’ll just be logical about it, assess the facts and make a fair judgement.

“We will never lose our focus, which is to win football matches.

“We’re not a brutal organisation really. But sometimes you do have to make decisions, that may not be popular.”

Ratcliffe on Brailsford

Ratcliffe confirmed that his right-hand man and cycling chief Sir Dave Brailsford will be vital to his plan to take United back to the top.

The Ineos chief said: “He will be intimately involved and critically involved in the future of Manchester United.

“Dave is interested in elite sport and performance, which is what Manchester United is.

“He’s been very, very successful in sport and viewed as one of the world’s best, sort of, thoughtful people on the subject of sports performance.

“I’ve known Dave now for quite a few years and it’s for good reasons.

“He is obsessive about performance in elite sports, and he is going to be very successful at Manchester United.

“Dave is not Clive Woodward. He’s a very different animal. He’s a very talented man and he’s a very good guy as well.

“I’m not interested in either stuff that might get brought up. You can keep harping on at the past but I am not interested in the past.

“That for me was all nonsense. I’m interested in the future. My view is he is a really good man and is really good at his job.”

Ratcliffe on Chelsea interest

Ratcliffe’s team were briefly in the running to buying Chelsea when Todd Boehly took over from Roman Abramovich back in May 2022.

The new Man Utd investor said: “We’ve always recognised that the biggest sport in the world is football and the Premier League is the biggest league in the world.

“So we’ve always had an interest in having a Premier League club but they don’t come up very often.

“At the time we had no inkling that United might ever be sold so that’s why we finished up in that Chelsea equation.

“We spent quite a lot of time thinking about whether we really wanted to go there. By the time we got there, we were too late in the process.

“There is no comparison between Chelsea and Manchester United.

“The scale of Manchester United is incomparable to any of the London clubs.”