Ravel Morrison

Report: Controversial midfielder Morrison agrees to deal with Lazio

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Mercurial, controversial and wickedly-talented, Ravel Morrison is hoping a change of locale will alter the course of his rocky career trajectory.

The former Manchester United, QPR, Cardiff City, Birmingham City and, soon, West Ham United midfielder has reportedly signed a pre-contract to join Serie A’s Lazio after this season. The move has been rumored for some time.

[ MORE: Real Madrid ink Lucas Silva ]

Sky Sports says he hasn’t formally signed for the Roman club, but that he has agreed to a contract.

Morrison’s tumultuous on-field time was complicated by some horrific tales off the pitch, including spending time in prison for assaulting his girlfriend and her mother.

And for every backheel volley highlight, there was a story like his nearly fighting Wilfried Zaha in an England U-21 match.

Report: Ravel Morrison to become latest English player to move abroad in Europe

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Manchester United academy, current West Ham United player and regular bad boy Ravel Morrison seems poised to become the latest of a very small group of English footballers to sign for a European club outside the British Isles.

According to multiple reports out of the UK, Morrison is in talks with Serie A side Lazio as the Manchester-born midfielder has been told by his current club to find a new club during the January transfer window.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup ]

Morrison, 21, was at one time one of the brightest prospects coming out of the Man United academy but continuous off-the-field trouble derailed his United career as he left for West Ham in Jan. 2012. Since then, he’s made 24 first-team appearances for West Ham, and a combined 54 appearances for Birmingham City, QPR and Cardiff City during three different loan stints.

The friction between Morrison and West Ham came to a head this week as the Professional Footballers’ Association was called in to settle a dispute between player and club over his £15,000-per-week wages, which have been repeatedly docked, wrongly so in Morrison’s opinion, for misconduct. He has since been demoted to training with the under-21 squad as he seeks a move away from the Boleyn Ground.

[ WATCH: Morrison flashes fantastic skill in England U-21 training session ]

Morrison is also due in court this month on accusations he assaulted his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother.

Gifted with “brilliant ability,” according legendary Man United manager Alex Ferguson, even the Scotsman grew tired of Morrison’s unwanted distractions and inability to fully apply himself to his craft. Ferguson said following his move in 2012 that Morrison needed to leave Manchester behind and “start a new life” in order to succeed. Only time will tell whether a move abroad will finally put Morrison on the straight and narrow.

QPR could take a chance on troubled midfielder Morrison

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At 21-years-old, some believe Ravel Morrison’s Premier League career could be coming to an end.

After being signed to Manchester United at 17, nothing has gone as planned.

The young midfielder has seen his reputation tarnished by off the field incidents, and has struggled to maintain a spot on a Premier League roster.

[ RELATED: Morrison released from prison ]

Manchester United released Morrison in 2012, and after signing with West Ham, he has spent most of his time on loan stints in the Championship.

Despite making 16 appearances for the Hammers in the beginning of last season, he was loaned out to Queens Park Rangers, where he helped the Hoops earn promotion into the Premier League. He returned to Upton Park, only to be loaned out again, this time to Cardiff City.

His loan at Cardiff was cut short this week, and Morrison will be in search of a new club as West Ham has said he is not in their future plans.

[ RELATED: Harry Redknapp denies QPR are close to signing Defoe, Keane ]

Fortunately for Morrison, he may have one final lifeline.

Harry Redknapp was impressed by Morrison’s play during his spell at Loftus Road, and said he may be the youngster’s “last chance” at making it.

I think I might be his last chance. He has got to sort himself out. Fergie ended up getting rid of him, Sam got rid of him and they are top, top managers.

He has obviously got to look at himself somewhere but I’m open to taking those chances with people. I have done it over the years and so maybe I will do it.

He is an amazing talent, I have got to be truthful. He glides over the pitch and has the ability to beat people but he doesn’t put it all together. There is something missing, isn’t there? There is a screw loose somewhere. He isn’t that bad a lad and has had a hard life.”

If Redknapp does choose to bring Morrison back to Queens Park, he would be taking a big gamble on a talented player that has squandered his previous opportunities to make it in the Premier League.

With QPR currently sitting in the relegation zone, it may be worth the risk.

West Ham’s Ravel Morrison to leave prison

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West Ham United youngster Ravel Morrison was released from jail on Monday, as a hearing was arranged after he allegedly assaulted two women.

Morrison, 21, has tried to clean up his act in recent months after an extremely troubled past but he has been held in custody since last Thursday. The  former Manchester United player allegedly punched and slapped his former 19-year-old girlfriend and her 39-year-old mother outside a bar in Manchester last Sunday.

The Hammers midfielder, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, was released on Monday after a judge granted him bail but Morrison is set to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday to learn his fate.

Morrison shone for the Hammers during the early months of the 2013-14 season and scored some stunning goals, including a slaloming wonder goal against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. He then fell out of the lineup and became despondent,  that lead to a loan move to QPR who he helped get promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Morrison as one of the brightest talents to come through the Red Devils’ academy system but stated that Morrison was a “brilliant footballer who needs to get away from Manchester and start a new life.”

Despite moving to London to get away from it all in Manchester, Morrison’s past has caught up with him and could spark the end of his career not only with West Ham, but elsewhere too.

World Cup injury bug snatches Croatian winger with ruptured hamstring

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Croatia is the latest country to be stung by the vicious injury bug making the rounds before this summer’s World Cup.

According to reports out of the country, 29-year-old winger Niko Kranjcar will not be available for the tournament after rupturing his hamstring, and will now have to focus on both returning to fitness and sorting out his club situation.

Kranjcar, on loan from Dynamo Kiev, made 29 Championship appearances for Queens Park Rangers this season, started the playoff final against Derby County Saturday.

However, was removed in the 33rd minute after feeling his hamstring pop. He went back to Zagreb for an MRI, which confirmed the injury.

Before his injury, Kranjcar was one of just five players who represented Croatia in their last World Cup, 2006 in Germany.

He owns 81 caps for his country, in which he has 16 goals, some of which have been vitally important. Kranjcar scored the opener in Croatia’s famous 3-2 win over England in Euro 2008 qualification at Wembley, which eliminated the home side from contention and securing the departure of then-England manager and current Derby County boss Steve McClaren.

Kranjcar’s injury only compounds the problems for boss Niko Kovac, who is already dealing with the losses of Ivan Strinic and Ivo Ilicevic.

The frustrating part for Croatia is that Kranjcar had already tweaked his hamstring in the playoff semi-final, but manager Harry Redknapp decided to use him anyways in the final, and the result was a complete tear.

After the semi-final, Redknapp praised his Croatian winger, who he started over young star Ravel Morrison. “I played a bloke called Niko Kranjcar,” Redknapp said. “He’s got something like 86 caps for Croatia and is a fantastic player, a fantastic person and can make things happen. Ravel has done well but I went with Niko. I went for experience – Niko knows the game and I hope he’ll be fit to play at Wembley.”

It’s now time for Kranjcar to determine whether he will return to Dynamo Kiev, stay at QPR, or seek other options.