Attempted rape and assault charges against Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material coming to light were factors in their decision to stop the case against the 21-year-old.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said it was “only fair” they announce that Greenwood would no longer face criminal proceedings, but urged any potential victims of crime not to “let this case put you off asking for help”.
In a statement confirming the case had been discontinued, the CPS said: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review.
“In this case a combination of the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light meant there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. In these circumstances, we are under a duty to stop the case.
“We have explained our decision to all parties.
A statement from Manchester United said: “Manchester United notes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service that all charges against Mason Greenwood have been dropped.
“The club will now conduct its own process before determining next steps. We will not make any further comment until that process is complete.”
Greenwood, who has been capped once for England, was first held in January over allegations relating to a young woman, after images and videos were posted online.
Within hours of the allegations surfacing, Greenwood was suspended from playing or training with the Old Trafford club.
Nike suspended and later terminated its sponsorship deal with Greenwood, while Electronic Arts confirmed his removal from active squads on its Fifa 22 game.
“The investigation team has remained in regular contact with the legal team, providing any updates of note, and so understand the rationale for the discontinuation of proceedings at this stage, and that this decision has not been taken lightly.
Ms Kerr said an “ever increasing number of officers are receiving specialist training” and the force is more consistently using tools to keep people safe and care for victims.
“If you feel you are or might be a victim, please don’t let this case put you off asking for help,” she added.