Erik ten Hag believes Anthony’s return to Manchester United will not cause any distractions

    Erik ten Hag doesn’t believe Anthony’s return will be a distraction after Manchester United announced he would resume training and be available for selection amid a police investigation into allegations of abuse against him.

    The 23-year-old was granted leave on September 10 and returned to England from Brazil earlier this week before undergoing a voluntary interview with Greater Manchester Police on Thursday.

    Anthony has always denied the allegations against him and United confirmed on Friday morning that the winger would return to training and could resume playing for Ten Hag’s side.

    The Premier League club said in a statement: “Since the allegations were first made in June, Anthony has cooperated with police investigations in both Brazil and the UK and continues to do so.

    “As Anthony’s employer, Manchester United have decided that he will resume training at Carrington and remain available for selection while the police investigation continues.

    “This matter will be monitored pending further developments.

    “As a club we condemn acts of violence and abuse. “We recognize the importance of protecting everyone involved in this situation and recognize the impact these allegations have on victims of violence.”

    United released the statement just over two hours before Ten Hag addressed the media to preview Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace.

    Anthony will not feature in this Premier League match but will return to training with the group on game day.

    “We are making a statement, so I mean this statement,” Ten Hag said. “I think the statement says everything clearly.

    “No, I don’t think it’s distracting. We’re focused on the games and so is he.”

    Asked about the details of his return, the Dutchman replied: “He will be back in training on Saturday, so tomorrow.

    “I’ll have to see (how fit he is) but I think yeah (he’s fit).”

    Anthony faces several allegations of physical aggression towards his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, who spoke to Brazilian publication UOL earlier this month.

    The winger denied these allegations, as well as further claims of assault by Raisa de Freitas and Ingrid Lana.

    Anthony was not arrested or charged by either Brazil or GMP, and he refused, without any restrictions, a voluntary interview at which he presented evidence to support his persistent denials.

    United will continue to monitor the situation while the police investigation continues.

    A spokeswoman for the charity Women’s Aid said: “We know this morning’s news from Manchester United that their player Anthony is returning to training and selection while police inquiries continue will have an impact on victims of domestic abuse.

    “We call on national football organizations to work with specialist services such as Women’s Aid to provide clubs with much-needed advice on domestic abuse and the handling of domestic abuse cases.

    “An informed and consistent approach is vital to creating a society where domestic violence is not tolerated and we will be writing to national organizations to raise this issue.”

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