Morrison a happy Hammer - McDonald
Published 16/01/2014 | 11:12
West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald has played down reports that midfielder Ravel Morrison is angling for a move to Fulham.
The Hammers reported Fulham to the Premier League on Wednesday after Rene Meulensteen had said Morrison was keen to link up with him at Craven Cottage.
Following their 3-0 win over Norwich in the FA Cup, Meulensteen had said: "Yes, we did make a bid. I think he does want to come. He would add pace, power, unpredictability and a real attacking threat.
"I don't know what the situation is now, because that's left with (club director) Alistair Macintosh."
The quotes angered West Ham, who would have been further irked by reports on Thursday suggesting Morrison was preparing to go on strike to push through a move.
McDonald said that was not the case and that the England Under-21 international, who worked with Meulensteen when the Dutchman was first team coach at Manchester United, is happy at Upton Park as he strives for full fitness following a groin problem.
"It is all media reports and whatever has been said... I think the club and the Premier League are dealing with that so I'd prefer not to dwell on that any more," he said.
"There seems to be a story about Rav every week. The lad comes in and trains, sometimes he has had a little bit of a groin injury, but we've man-managed that. He trained on Wednesday with a huge, big smile on his face with the rest of the squad so (reports he may go on strike) are news to me.
"We look forward to him being in the squad on Saturday, he should be fit, he's been training with the lads and he's brought a lot of joy, especially with winning against Cardiff - he cheered everyone up when he came back as well."
McDonald revealed West Ham want the 20-year-old to stay and challenged Morrison to prove he is worthy of a place in Sam Allardyce's side, but also said a big offer may tempt the club to sell.
When asked if the club wanted to keep the player, McDonald replied: "Well why not? But he needs to get into the team and he needs to be consistent. I imagine every player has a price.
"He had a great run of three or four games where he was outstanding but he's a young kid and he's still learning the game.
"He goes through inconsistency to a certain extent and he's had a little bit of a groin injury as well so that's stop and start."
With Morrison's contract at West Ham still having 18 months remaining, the club's complaint is likely to surround Premier League ruling T.8 - which reads: "A statement made publicly by or on behalf of a club expressing interest in acquiring the registration of a contract player or by a contract player expressing interest in transferring his registration to another club (or club) shall in either case be treated as an indirect approach for the purposes of Rules T.3 and T.6.'
Both rules T.3 and T.6 relate to a club making an approach for a player under contract or the player, or his representative, approaching clubs in the hope of instigating a possible transfer.
Morrison also seemed to refute recent suggestions he wants to leave West Ham when he tweeted: "The lies people make up its unreal."
With West Ham reporting Meulensteen and Fulham to the Premier League, the Cottagers could face a reprimand or fine if they are found to be in breach of the rulings - it is also possible the case could be referred to the Football Association.
Morrison later told West Ham's official website: "Although it is frustrating to read some of the reports in the media, I always try to keep my focus on the next game and show people with my performances on the pitch that I want to do well for West Ham United.
"I've been working really hard over the past few weeks to get back to full fitness after missing a couple of recent games with a groin injury.
"I'm feeling fine now and I'm hoping to be involved in Saturday's important game with Newcastle and then the Capital One Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Tuesday."