Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham is under investigation for an alleged slur aimed at Greenwood. AFP / JAVIER SORIANO

Earlier this month, Former Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood and Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham found themselves embroiled in a controversy over allegations that the latter called the now Getafe player a "rapist". It is now being reported that Greenwood wants the investigation to be dropped.

Real Madrid CF faced Getafe in La Liga on February 2, with Los Blancos taking a 2-0 victory over their neighbours thanks to a brace from Spanish striker Joselu. During the match, Bellingham and Greenwood clashed and cameras caught the Real Madrid star mouthing something at his fellow Englishman.

There was no clear audio that reveals exactly what was said, but it is understood that lip-reading experts have been involved. It is alleged that Bellingham called Greenwood a "rapist", and the incident was subsequently reported by Getafe to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Following the complaint made by Getafe, Spanish football authorities formally launched a probe into the incident, which could result in a lengthy ban for the 20-year-old Real Madrid player. It would come as a huge blow for the club, with Bellingham being their top scorer with 16 goals from 21 games so far in La Liga this season.

Apparently, Greenwood was not involved in Getafe's decision to report Bellingham and he is now calling for the investigation to be called off.

"Mason has told them he doesn't want Jude to be punished and has asked them to drop it. He doesn't want bad publicity and wants to get on with playing football. He was very upset at the time as he didn't expect it from someone like Jude, but he knows he's always likely to be a target for that kind of stuff so he's accepted he'll need a thick skin," a source told The Sun.

What's the story behind the alleged slur?

Greenwood, 22, was previously charged with attempted rape, sexual assault, coercion and domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend in the UK in 2022. He was immediately suspended by Manchester United at that time, but those charges were dropped after key witnesses refused to cooperate and stepped back from the case. Seeing no possibility of a conviction, the court had no choice but to drop the charges. The club, however, decided to conduct an internal probe into the matter.

The Red Devils later decided not to let Greenwood return to the squad amid massive public resistance due to the scandal. The two parties agreed to part ways, with United agreeing to help Greenwood rebuild his career elsewhere. The player was loaned out to Getafe in September, where he has thrived this season.

Despite having had the charges dropped, the case looms over Greenwood particularly because he was not acquitted either. Nevertheless, he has kept his head down and has already scored seven goals and five assists for Getafe in La Liga. He has reportedly even caught the attention of some relevant people in FC Barcelona, who have shown interest in signing him this summer.

The Catalan giants are desperate to reinforce their ranks, and they need to do it on a bargain considering their dire economic situation. Someone like Greenwood may agree to a cut price deal largely because he would be willing to give up a higher salary in order to be able to play in one of Europe's biggest clubs.

It is still unclear if United will be open to selling outright, with the club understood to have already been hesitant to let Getafe secure a permanent move. If Greenwood continues to impress for the rest of the season, United my be able to raise his value and get a better deal come June. That said, Barcelona may not be able to compete if other interested parties enter the picture. However, they can bank on the player's desire to join them.

United's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, showed interest in the possibility of reinstating Greenwood. "The process will be to understand the facts, not the hype and then come to a fair decision on the basis of values — which is basically, 'Is he a good guy or not?'."

Meanwhile, if Bellingham is found guilty of calling Greenwood a "rapist", he could be sanctioned for a lengthy period during the most crucial months of the season, and could miss up to ten games.