Suspended Manchester United star Mason Greenwood has today been spotted for the first time since being arrested on suspicion of rape.
The 20-year-old England international has kept a low profile since his arrest by Greater Manchester Police at the end of January.
But today the Premier League striker was seen driving a black Mercedes around Cheshire, while wearing a Cartier balaclava.
Officers arrived at Greenwood’s £14,000-a-month Cheshire mansion on January 31 after seeing a woman reporting claims of physical violence and sexual threats on social media.
The footballer was then arrested on suspicion of rape and assault of an 18-year-old student.
He was further arrested on February 2 on suspicion of sexual assault and threats to kill, but bailed pending further investigation.
Greenwood, who is regarded as one of England’s most talented young footballers, was suspended – on his full £75,000-a-week pay deal – by United following the arrest.
He was also abruptly dumped by sponsors Nike without receiving a penny of compensation.
Suspended Manchester United star Mason Greenwood has today been spotted for the first time since being arrested on suspicion of rape
The 20-year-old England international (pictured wearing a balaclava) has kept a low profile since his arrest by Greater Manchester Police at the end of January
Today is the first time Greenwood has been spotted in public since his arrest at the end of January. The young star was seen driving a Mercedes around Cheshire while wearing a black Cartier balaclava
Greenwood (pictured in the vehicle), who is regarded as one of England’s most talented young footballers, was suspended – on his full £70,000-a-week pay deal – by United following his arrest
Greenwood (pictured) was abruptly dumped by sponsors Nike without receiving a penny of compensation
Today is the first time Greenwood has been spotted in public since his arrest at the end of January.
It comes just a day after his club side United confirmed the striker remained unavailable for selection to the first team, despite fans spotting his profile still being listed in the squad section on the club’s official website.
Fans spotted on Wednesday that Greenwood was still listed as a first-team player on the squad section on the club’s official website, prompting questions that there had been a change in Greenwood’s case.
This is not the case with the striker still suspended by the Premier League club, who confirmed that his status ‘hasn’t changed’.
Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst also confirmed Greenwood’s profile was taken off the club’s smartphone app after he was removed from the squad to exclude him from interactive elements.
Greenwood’s profile has always been listed on the club’s official desktop website and has not been removed, given he is still a Manchester United player.
Mason Greenwood remains unavailable for selection by Manchester United despite fans spotting him being listed in the club’s squad section online (top right)
Greenwood, 20, was arrested last month on suspicion of raping, sexually assaulting and threatening to kill an 18-year-old student before being released on bail
Greenwood is still not a part of the first-team squad and remains unavailable for selection until further notice.
United still are contractually bound to continue paying Greenwood’s £75,000-a-week salary despite suspending him after he was arrested last month and then released on bail.
They said that he will not play for the club or train at Carrington until further notice.
United’s last official communication relating to Greenwood’s situation was a statement on February 1 which read: ‘Manchester United reiterates its strong condemnation of violence of any kind.
‘As previously communicated, Mason Greenwood will not train with, or play for, the club until further notice.’
United must now wait to see if Greenwood is charged before deciding on their next move.
Joseph Lappin, head of employment at UK law firm Stewarts, told Sportsmail last month: ‘In these early days, whilst the criminal investigation is ongoing, the risk of dismissing Greenwood is too great.
‘Greenwood would stand to be compensated by the club for the sums owing to him under the remaining term of his contract if his dismissal was found to be unlawful.
He had his Nike sponsorship deal terminated without receiving a penny of compensation
‘If Manchester United considers that the employment relationship has reached the end of the road, more likely is that club proposes terminating the contract and paying Greenwood a settlement sum.
‘If this happened, Greenwood could look to sign for a club abroad, possibly on a pre-contract basis pending the outcome of the criminal investigation in England.
‘If there is a trial and Greenwood is found not guilty, he and the club may explore early termination of his player contract.
‘If there is a trial and Greenwood is found guilty and sent to prison, Manchester United could rip up the player contract and stop paying Greenwood.;
It comes after it was reported last month that Greenwood had turned his £14,000-a-month Cheshire mansion into a fortress following his arrest.
Two private security guards are now guarding the house, which is owned by an unnamed former Premier League star.
A £350 home security system, which can record from up to eight CCTV cameras in 4KHD, was also installed last month.
One neighbour told MailOnline in February: ‘We haven’t seen anything of him. It’s a nice modern house. We believe he rents it for £14,000 with all the bills included’.