Morrison wants £30,000 a week

Unprecedented for a young United player, he has taken to Twitter to defy Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United's teenage prospect Ravel Morrison, whose turbulent lifestyle has made his club despair, is understood to be demanding £30,000 a week for his new professional contract in the face of a £12,000-a-week offer from the club.

Morrison, 18, is out of contract in the summer and United have already rejected a £500,000 offer from Newcastle United for a player rated as one of the best to come out of the club's academy in some time. Once regarded as a natural successor to Paul Scholes, Morrison's development has stalled this season and he has made just three senior appearances in all.

Unprecedented for a young United player, he has also taken to Twitter to defy Sir Alex Ferguson who said last week that Morrison had been made an offer of a new professional contract but had rejected it, describing the teenager's demands as "unrealistic".

This week Morrison tweeted: "I have never 1s [sic] turned down a contract off united". Yesterday, via Twitter, he tried to assure fans that he would not go to Manchester City: "m.city have never been in my mind and who ever tells you I'm movin [there] ignore them."

Morrison has a worrying background of brushes with the law, including pleading guilty to two counts of witness intimidation which led to a 12-month referral order which expired this month. He has a police caution for assaulting his mother. He has also had disciplinary issues with United.

There have been suggestions that Arsène Wenger would be willing to take a risk on Morrison if United were prepared to let the player leave for nothing in the summer. However, his demands to be paid £30,000 a week are ambitious in the extreme for a player who has so little first-team experience and appears to be high maintenance.

On Wednesday, Rio Ferdinand tweeted that he had spoken to Morrison. "I've told him what I think of him and what he needs to do to fulfil it," Ferdinand wrote, later adding it would be a "big waste if it all goes tits up".

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