One of the few bright sparks in West Ham United's dismal season has been the performance of young midfielder Ravel Morrison. After leaving Manchester United as part of Sir Alex Ferguson's 'I hate midfielders die die die' masterplan, a campaign which also landed Juventus with the services of one Paul Pogba, Morrison's career has taken off at Upton Park. But his time with the Hammers could well be curtailed by a contract which seems destined to ensure he leaves the club -- and soon.
It's already been widely reported that Morrison has a £18 million release clause in his contract, but apparently there's an even more onerous clause hidden deeper inside. The Telegraph are claiming that Morrison's contract also stipulates that should West Ham receive and reject a £10 million bid from another club his salary will immediately be quadrupled from £15,000 per week. Combine the threat of an unaffordable raise with the fact that his contract expires at the end of the 2014/15 season and that the Hammers might not be in the Premier League by that point and you have all the makings of a sale -- and soon.
With £10 million as the cap on Morrison's price tag, it now remains to be seen whether West Ham can be forced into a lower figure. I'd be surprised if they would consider 'all bids above £5 million', as the Telegraph is suggesting, but even somewhere in between would represent good business for a home-grown midfielder like Morrison.
Morrison has had his issues in the past, but considering Chelsea's needs in the centre of the park and the magnetic personality of Jose Mourinho, I don't think that his attitude problems at United will be considered a dealbreaker*. Nor, I suspect, would other clubs.
*Although the homophobic abuse charge does concern me a great deal.
Do I think Morrison's coming to Chelsea? I definitely wouldn't go that far. But, after the loss of Marco van Ginkel to injury and Michael Essien to father time, he has to be under heavy consideration.
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