Mason Greenwood had played 24 games in all competitions in the 2020-21 season, before he was suspended – Getty Images/Paul EllisManchester United have studied “extensive evidence” not in the public domain as part of their protracted investigation into Mason Greenwood as the club’s chief executive Richard Arnold prepares to make a final decision on the England striker’s future.United released a 224-word statement on Wednesday which gave the clearest indication yet of the dilemma with which the club have been wrestling since they announced the start of an internal investigation into the 21-year-old forward in February.It followed an announcement from the Crown Prosecution Service that charges of attempted rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and controlling and coercive behaviour against Greenwood had been dropped, 13 months after he was first arrested by Greater Manchester Police.Greenwood’s arrest had come in the wake of video footage and audio clips being posted on social media that have been widely seen.United established an executive panel, which included Arnold, chief operating officer Collette Roche, football director John Murtough, chief communications officer Ellie Norman and the club’s legal counsel Patrick Stewart.One of the panel’s key tasks was to study all the evidence available to them and this has included information that was not in the public domain.Club has ‘responsibilities to Mason as an employee and a young person’While stressing in their statement that the “welfare and perspective of the alleged victim has been central to the club’s inquiries”, United also added that they have “responsibilities to Mason as an employee, as a young person who has been with the club since the age of seven, and as a new father with a partner”.United said their investigation had “drawn on extensive evidence and context not in the public domain” and that the club had “heard from numerous people with direct involvement or knowledge of the case”.Greenwood – who denied the charges against him – has been suspended since his arrest last year and has been training on his own away from the club.The full findings of the investigation are understood to have been presented to Arnold last month and, although Joel Glazer, the United co-chairman, has been consulted on the matter, the club said the final decision on Greenwood rests with the chief executive.United insisted on Wednesday that a decision had not yet been made and was “currently the subject of intensive internal deliberation” and asked for patience as they worked through “the final stages”.A decision had been expected before the start of the new Premier League season but last week it emerged the verdict had been delayed because the club wanted to consult other stakeholders, including the women’s team. Three of their members – Katie Zelem, Ella Toone and Mary Earps – are in Australia and New Zealand as part of the England squad that has reached Sunday’s final.Some of United women’s team are thought to harbour serious concerns about the prospect of Greenwood playing for the club again and Telegraph Sport have spoken to staff who are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of the striker returning to the squad. There is also known to be frustration at the length of time the investigation has taken even if club sources have stressed the complexities of the case.A group of female fans – Female Fans Against Greenwood’s Return – voiced their profound opposition last week to the prospect of the player being brought back into the fold and United are understood to be acutely aware that there will be a severe backlash in some quarters if they do ultimately decide to bring Greenwood back. There were some protests against Greenwood’s possible return at Monday’s game against Wolves at Old Trafford.Arnold is understood to have told United’s executive leadership in the first week of August that the club was planning on bringing back Greenwood although club sources said this was only one of several scenarios which the chief executive had modelled with senior staff.It was said to be a “snapshot” of a plan to prepare staff. United are thought to have gone through a lot of “scenario planning”, which includes how things would unfold if Greenwood returned, but insist Arnold has yet to make a final decision.Raith Rovers faced a huge backlash from their women’s team, fans, sponsors and sexual violence campaigners at the Scottish club’s signing last year of David Goodwillie, who was found to have raped a woman by a civil court in 2017. The club subsequently admitted they had made a mistake and in September last year, eight months after signing, Goodwillie was released.United are understood to have taken the Goodwillie case and other examples in the sport, news, entertainment and media sectors into consideration as part of their investigation.Erik ten Hag, the United manager, is understood to be open to having Greenwood back in his squad and believes they have a duty of care to a player who has been with the club since he was a boy and not found guilty of anything in a court of law.Meanwhile, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust are in the process of collating the views and opinions of fans on the Greenwood issue with a view to sharing their findings with senior management at the club.Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.