Ravel Morrison
Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison is a special talent, but is he worth £30,000 a week? REUTERS

The Daily Mail claim the protracted nature of Manchester United's on-going contract talks with Ravel Morrison could lead to the prodigiously gifted English starlet leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season.

The 18-year-old is one of the most vaunted young players in English football and regularly championed as the finest Manchester United academy graduate since Paul Scholes.

Despite his well-documented off-field problems Manchester United remain desperate to retain the attacking midfielder, but not at the cost of compromising their rigid pay structures for Morrison's age bracket.

The Daily Mail claim Morrison has told friends and Manchester United colleagues that the hiatus in negotiations has led to him exploring his options elsewhere and given his patent pedigree there is likely to be no shortage of suitors. Barcelona and Manchester City have both tenuously been associated with the English sensation and either club would only have to pay a nominal development fee were they to successfully sign the playmaker.

Manchester United remain hopeful of striking a deal with Morrison given their supportive investment in the gifted yet troublesome youngster. In addition to nurturing his palpable talent, Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill have perpetually stood by the midfielder despite the off-field indiscretions which have plagued his fledgling career.

Talks remain on-going but no closer to a successful resolution and alarming for Manchester United, Paul Pogba's future seems relatively uncertain too.

The precocious young Frenchman has been an unused substitute for Manchester United over the last few weeks and even though the player recently suggested he would like to remain at Old Trafford in order to become a legend like Eric Cantona, the towering midfielder is yet to commit a new deal despite lengthy negotiations.

Some have cited the recent return of Paul Scholes as a potential problem in the aforementioned Manchester United pair's, who were the mainstays of the Red Devils' youth cup victory last season, on-going development at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson successfully coerced Scholes out of his retirement on Sunday, when the Manchester United legend made an expected return to action against Manchester City in the FA Cup third round.