Is Ravel Morrison Heading to West Ham?
The 18-year-old has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford following a breakdown in contract talks, and he now looks set to depart for London.
The teenager was billed as one of the best players to ever come through Manchester United’s academy, and cemented his reputation with two goals in the victory in last year’s FA Youth Cup Final.
Morrison made an impressive substitute appearance against Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup earlier this season, but his promising ability has been largely overshadowed by his off-field reputation.
The Manchester-born starlet received a 12-month referral order in early 2011 after admitting to witness intimidation, having tried to prevent a witness of a knifepoint robbery to give evidence in the trial of his attackers.
Fears at United that Morrison was involved with the wrong crowd were vindicated, and his behaviour was alleged to have deteriorated further, with reports of him missing training and being late for both training and matches, before the midfielder was even forced to take to Twitter to deny accusations that he stole Rio Ferdinand’s watch.
His legal troubles, and issues with authority and punctuality, were problem enough for Sir Alex Ferguson before contract talks led the manager to comment that Morrison and his agent were asking for a new contract in the value of £30,000 a week.
The youngster was transfer-listed, and despite rumours of interest from Roma, Arsenal and Manchester City, and a bid from Newcastle being rejected, West Ham now appear to be Morrison’s likely destination.
A move to Upton Park, managed by Ferguson’s close friend Sam Allardyce, should be completed before the transfer window slams shut tonight, but is dependent on Morrison agreeing personal terms.
However, the offer of first-team football will interest Morrison, and a deal is expected to be confirmed.
The transfer will allow Morrison the opportunity to get away from Manchester and the troublesome crowd that he has fallen in with.
Morrison’s talent is undeniable, but his attitude is lacking. Allardyce must hope that the midfielder can mature as a person and player, keeping himself out of trouble and establishing himself as a regular in the first-team setup.
United fans will be disappointed to lose such a talented youngster, but his attitude concerns have left Ferguson with little choice.
Fortunately for United, the deal is believed to include a buy-back clause, which will allow Morrison to return to Old Trafford for a pre-determined fee, should the Red Devils wish to re-sign the midfielder.
For now though, Morrison, one of Manchester United’s brightest talents, will be leaving for West Ham, with hope of resurrected a career which could potentially be derailed by errors of judgement in his personal life.
Both West Ham and Manchester United will hope that the deal works out for the best. If not, another promising English career could be consigned to the scrap heap before it even begins.