Ravel Morrison is facing further turbulence in his troubled career after it emerged that Lee Clark wants to send him back to parent club West Ham.
Clark, the Birmingham manager, is already losing patience with the controversial midfielder and is keen to strike a deal with Sam Allardyce and cut his loan move short in January.
Morrison, 19, joined the Championship club on loan in August but has frustrated Clark with his general attitude and alleged lack of commitment in training. The former Manchester United trainee has not been included in Birmingham’s first-team squad for the last three matches and has made only one start in the league.
Clark cannot send the teenager back to West Ham until the transfer window reopens next year but will still require Allardyce’s permission to terminate the deal.
If Allardyce refuses, Birmingham could have Morrison on their books until June. Morrison’s behaviour is also believed to have infuriated senior members of Birmingham’s squad.
Morrison’s problems at St. Andrew’s are the latest in a long list of acrimonious episodes ever since he broke through United’s youth academy and was touted as one of the country’s most prodigious young talents.
Two days after winning the 2011 FA Youth Cup with United, Morrison was fined £600 by a court for throwing his girlfriend’s mobile phone out of a window during an argument.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of witness intimidation last year and has a police caution for assaulting his mother. His United career was dogged by off-field disciplinary problems and absences. Rio Ferdinand once denied on Twitter that Morrison had stolen his watch at the training ground.
Sir Alex Ferguson had attempted to control him but eventually washed his hands of him earlier this year, shortly after claiming he had made “unrealistic” wage demands.
United rejected a bid from Newcastle in January before offloading him to West Ham later that month for an initial £650,000. Barely weeks after signing he was fined £7,000 by the Football Association and warned about his conduct after homophobic comments made on Twitter.
Allardyce farmed him out on loan to Birmingham with the intention of him gaining first-team experience but he has not appeared since August.
Clark is understood to have held a series of meetings with Morrison in a bid to get the youngster onside but despite Birmingham’s run of three defeats in the last four games has still not called on him.
Now the under-fire Birmingham manager is ready to cut his losses, barely a month after describing him as a “magician”. Now Morrison is facing the grim prospect of his career going up in a puff of smoke.
*Original story by John Percy can be found in The Telegraph
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