Un-ravelling the Morrison mystery

by Jonathan Daniels

Friday, January 20th, 2012

As Tony Fernandes appears the only Premier League chairman willing to put the golden nib of his fountain pen to his cheque book, newspapers and sports channels alike struggle to satisfy the footballing publics insatiable appetite for transfer talk. This has resulted in the arrival of silly season appearing to be unavoidably upon us with rumours of Andy Carroll returning to Newcastle and Didier Drogba moving to China. Perhaps the most surprising of the media’s transfer fixations is that of Manchester United’s 18 year-old midfielder Ravel Morrison.

Despite having only 3 first team appearances on his record Morrison has become the latest darling of the tabloids’ transfer talk. Sky Sports news are constantly peddling gossip of a £500,000 move, with Roma and Newcastle rumoured as potential destinations. While earlier today the Daily Mail suggested that Morrison is demanding £30,000 a week from United in order to secure his talent.

Buoyed by his success in publically courting Wayne Rooney to commit his once uncertain future to United, Sir Alex has taken the usual step of stating in a press conference this week that Morrison has rejected United’s offer of a new contract.

One certainty is that if United are willing to admit to offering Morrison a new contract Sir Alex must want the player to stay. With this in mind the likelihood of a cut-price move seems remote. One long standing concern of Sir Alex’s when it comes to young players is the role of agents. A word in the ear of a young player from their greedy agent can understandably unsettle a player of tender years. Through placing contract negotiations in the public sphere Sir Alex allows football supporters the chance to voice their outrage and disillusionment with the money motivation of Premier League players, ultimately pressuring a player to stay in order to avoid a public backlash from irate supporters.

However the prospect of United losing a prominent talent is a tale of far more intrigue to the media, meaning the contract negotiations of a teenager most football fans are yet to hear of has been catapulted to the forefront of the press’s agenda. With the on-going Carlos Tevez saga the only other on-going piece of transfer speculation Morrison appears destined to fill column inches and television airtime for weeks to come.

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