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Marseille mayor opposes "unbearable" Mason Greenwood signing from Man United

Marseille mayor makes Mason Greenwood feelings clear amid Man United 'agreement'
© Imago
The mayor of Marseille publicly urges the city's football club not to sign Mason Greenwood after they allegedly had a £26.7m bid accepted for the Manchester United forward.

The mayor of Marseille has publicly urged the city's football club not to sign Mason Greenwood from Manchester United this summer.

Multiple reports claim that the Ligue 1 outfit have had an offer of £26.7m accepted by the Red Devils for the 22-year-old forward.

Greenwood has allegedly been offered a long-term contract until June 2029 and has given the green light to make the move to France, although a full agreement over personal terms is yet to be reached.

A host of European clubs have been credited with an interest in Greenwood in recent weeks, including Getafe who have been keen to re-sign the forward following a successful loan spell at the La Liga club last season.

Greenwood, who scored 10 goals and provided side assists in 33 league games for Getafe, joined the Spanish club after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were all dropped in February 2023.

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood pictured in July 2021© Reuters

Payan: 'I don't want my club to be covered in shame'

The Englishman now appears to be closing in on a permanent switch to Marseille, but the city's mayor Benoit Payan has publicly opposed the transfer.

Speaking to French radio station RMC Sport, Payan said: "Greenwood's behaviour is unspeakable, unacceptable. Hitting his wife... I saw images that deeply shocked me. Abusing his wife in this way is unbecoming of a man and he cannot have his place on this team.

"The values of OM and Marseille are anything but that in fact. It's a shame. I will ask Pablo Longoria not to recruit Greenwood. I don't want my club to be covered with the shame of someone who hits his wife.

"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."

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi before the match on August 12, 2023© Reuters

De Zerbi promises to 'publicly defend' Greenwood

In contrast, Marseille's newly-appointed head coach Roberto De Zerbi - formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion - has stated that he would hold no prejudice against Greenwood because of his past, should he complete his transfer to the Ligue 1 club.

"First up, we have not signed him yet, so we're talking about nothing. After that, he is a champion, an international level player," De Zerbi said at a press conference.

"I don't know what happened in the past. I think people who get into private lives without knowing are making a mistake.

"What I can say is that once a player signs for Olympique Marseille, they become like my children and I will protect them against anyone. Even if I can pull his ear in private, I will defend him publicly. My players are like my sons."

Since and including his debut in 2019, Greenwood has made a total of 129 first-team appearances for Man United in all competitions, but he has not played for the club since January 2022 in a 1-0 EFL Cup win over West Ham United.

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