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Lazio 'could HIJACK Marseille's move for Man United's Mason Greenwood'

  /  autty

Lazio could reportedly try to convince Mason Greenwood to join them this summer, despite the Manchester United outcast being close to agreeing a move to Marseille.

Mail Sport revealed on Monday that United and Marseille had held talks over a £27m deal with a substantial sell-on offer, and they were nearing an agreement.

However, the mayor of Marseille, Benoit Payan, responded to the news by branding the proposed transfer 'unbearable' due to Greenwood's controversial past.

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 for allegations of attempted rape, assault and coercive behaviour, and has not played for United since. He spent last season on loan at Getafe after the charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service and the Red Devils completed their own internal investigation.

According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, discussions between United and Marseille have slowed since Payan's statement, and Lazio could look to take advantage of this by hijacking their move.

Lazio were linked with Greenwood earlier this summer, but looked to have missed out to Marseille.

Payan's remarks may open the door for them to jump back ahead of Marseille in the pecking order, though.

Payan told RMC Sport: '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.'

Payan is not the only person connected with Marseille to have an issue with Greenwood potentially joining the club.

Furious fans launched a #GreenwoodNotWelcome campaign, and released a statement on the OM Forum that read: 'At a time when negotiations for the arrival of Mason Greenwood are announced as becoming increasingly heated, it seems necessary to explain, once again and before the damage becomes irreversible, why this transfer seems inconceivable in view of the values displayed by the club and why it would mean for many of us a red line that would irreparably damage the passion that we have for this club.'

However, Marseille's new manager Roberto De Zerbi - who left Brighton at the end of last season - insisted he would 'publicly defend' Greenwood if he signs for the club.

'Greenwood isn’t recruited yet so there isn’t much to say. He’s a champion, an international level player,' De Zerbi said.

'I don’t know what happened, I’m not concentrating on private lives. When a player signs for the club, I consider him my child.

'Even if I can pull his ear in private, I will defend him publicly. My players are like my sons.'