Sheffield United: Ravel Morrison takes the first step towards becoming a Blade
Ravel Morrison is set to extend his stay with Sheffield United, after impressing coaching staff with his attitude during this week's training camp in Portugal.
Morrison, previously of Manchester United and West Ham, travelled to the Algarve with the Premier League club's squad as part of an extended trial and, despite seeing a minor heel complaint throw his involvement during tomorrow's friendly against Real Betis into doubt, appears destined to remain at Bramall Lane for at least another week.
Although a decision is likely to be taken on his long-term future following next Saturday's meeting with Northampton Town, manager Chris Wilder confirmed Morrison has already taken the first step towards earning a permanent contract.
"I'm really disappointed that people haven't seen Rav," Wilder said, after Morrison missed yesterday's open training session in Vale do Lobo. "He's been really good. We've enjoyed him being with us. We're looking to explore that one and see how it goes. But he's impressed everybody. The recruitment, that's where we are and we sometimes have to go down that road."
Morrison's situation mirrors the one David McGoldrick found himself in last summer after being released by Ipswich Town. The centre-forward went on to become one of the driving forces behind United's promotion from the Championship and has since regained his place in the Republic of Ireland side.
Wilder has spoken in the past about the need to be creative in the transfer market, where Nottingham Forest's Ben Osborn, Swansea City's Oli McBurnie and Brentford's Neal Maupay also feature on his list of targets.
Although there have never been any doubts about Morrison's ability - Lazio's sporting director Igli Tare describing the midfielder as "world class" following a move to Rome in 2015 - others within the game believe a series of controversies off the pitch have prevented him from realising his true potential.
However, Wilder is known to have collected a series of character references from former team mates and managers alike before inviting Morrison to South Yorkshire following his departure from Ostersund.
"He's enjoying it, we've spoken to him and him coming in, the way he arrived, that was a box ticked from our point of view," Wilder said, acknowledging Morrison could sit out the meeting with Betis as a precautionary measure. "It's nothing major, he's just got a sore heel and hopefully he'll be involved. It wasn't the be all and end all, though, that he was involved in the game. It was other things we wanted to look at."