Sam Allardyce admits he fears Ravel Morrison will leave West Ham to return to Manchester United.
Allardyce signed the 20-year-old from United for 650,000 pounds in January 2012 after Sir Alex Ferguson decided the midfielder had caused too many problems in his time at Old Trafford.
Ferguson's former assistant, Mike Phelan, has recently said United made the right call but, after spending last season on loan at Birmingham, Morrison has made an impact in the West Ham side this year, scoring a memorable solo goal in last week’s win over Tottenham and earning his first England Under-21 cap.
And while it has been reported that Allardyce is eager to offer Morrison an extended and improved contract, he believes the Hammers could lose the youngster.
• Thorne: Morrison and English expectations
He is quoted in the People saying: “I don’t know if there is a buy-back clause and what that figure might be if it even exists. But my real big worry is that Manchester United will come back to buy him.
“Look at what happened when Chris Smalling played a handful of games for Fulham -- United jumped in with 10 million pounds. Then there was Phil Jones when I was at Blackburn. That’s what you are up against.”
Morrison made three appearances for United, all in the League Cup, before joining West Ham, and he has already scored twice in the current Premier League campaign.