The West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, has warned midfielder Ravel Morrison that he faces “severe competition” to work his way back into the side, once he overcomes a troublesome groin injury.
The former Manchester United youngster, 21, started the season in superb form for the Hammers but his own good performances seemed to fade at the same time as the team hit a slump.
Since then Morrison has been on the fringes of Allardyce’s side and has been struggling with a groin complaint since December.
Allardyce, whose side face Norwich City tonight, again denied claims that the England Under-21 international is set to depart the club, although QPR are believed to be close to signing him on loan. Fulham had a bid turned down during last month’s transfer window
“At the moment, Rav is still complaining about the problem he had before Christmas, to say he has these rumbling groin problems,” Allardyce said yesterday.
“At the end of the day he is going to have to decide if he goes for the hernia operation or not and the answer keeps being no – he doesn’t need it. I haven’t heard any rumours any other way in terms of what is happening with Rav, but he certainly needs to get back and train with the squad.
“He has to realise now everybody is fit there is severe competition here, especially with the new players as well.”
West Ham, meanwhile, have agreed a deal to sell Upton Park to London developer the Galliard Group, once the club have completed their switch to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. The club have played at the Boleyn Ground in east London for more than 100 years.
The Olympic Stadium, built at a cost of £430m, will have a 54,000 capacity once it is converted for use by the club, who have been granted a 99-year lease and will contribute £15m to conversion work. And Upton Park is to be turned into an East End “village” of up to 700 homes plus retail and leisure facilities, in London’s largest football stadium redevelopment.
Galliard has been in talks with the family of former West Ham and England captain Bobby Moore about the possibility of placing a landscaped garden named in his honour at the centre of the site, as well as a statue of the World Cup winner.