Manchester United have said Richard Arnold, their chief executive, will take the final decision on Mason Greenwood’s future and have asked for patience regarding the announcement of the outcome.

United have been consulting various stakeholders as part of a process that began in early February. The club have attracted criticism for the length of the investigation and a statement on Wednesday said it was in its final stages.

United delayed the decision to discuss the process with their players still involved in the Women’s World Cup. Mary Earps, Ella Toone and Katie Zelem are part of the England squad which has reached the final in Sydney on Sunday. It means a decision may be communicated next week.

United are owned by the Glazer family but they have delegated the decision to Arnold, who has headed an executive panel that also included Collette Roche, the chief operating officer, and Patrick Stewart, the legal head. As part of its investigation, the panel looked at similar cases in sport, news, music, media and the entertainment sectors.

United’s statement said: “Responsibility ultimately rests with the chief executive officer. Once made, the decision will be communicated and explained to the club’s internal and external stakeholders.

“Following the dropping of all charges against Mason Greenwood in February 2023, Manchester United has conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations made against him. This has drawn on extensive evidence and context not in the public domain, and we have heard from numerous people with direct involvement or knowledge of the case.

“Throughout this process, the welfare and perspective of the alleged victim has been central to the club’s inquiries, and we respect her right to lifelong anonymity. We also 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.

“The fact-finding phase of our investigation is now complete, and we are in the final stages of making a decision on Mason’s future. Contrary to media speculation, that decision has not yet been made and is currently the subject of intensive internal deliberation.

“This has been a difficult case for everyone associated with Manchester United, and we understand the strong opinions it has provoked based on the partial evidence in the public domain. We ask for patience as we work through the final stages of this carefully considered process.”

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 and in October of that year was charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Greenwood denied all the charges and they were dropped in February.

The 21‑year‑old has not played for United since January 2022 and has a contract to 2025, with the club having the option to extend for a further year.