Manager Sam Allardyce insists Ravel Morrison has wasted his talent at West Ham and must "change his whole life" to fulfil his potential.
West Ham are willing to let Morrison leave the club for free in the January transfer window after running out of patience with the 21-year-old midfielder, whose football career has been plagued by off-field and on-field indiscretions.
When Morrison transferred from Manchester United to West Ham three years ago, Alex Ferguson told Allardyce he was picking up a "brilliant footballer" with "top-class ability", who simply needed to "get away from Manchester and start a new life".
But speaking on Monday, Allardyce claimed Morrison had failed to make the most of his second chance in the Premier League, and conceded he could not watch the former England youth international stagnate any longer.
"Most young talented players I worked with over many, many years who I've met later have said, 'Oh, I wish I'd listened to you'," Allardyce said.
"When you meet them later in life they regret not taking the opportunity with the talent they had. It's never just about talent, it's about a lot more than that.
"You can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drink. There's only a certain amount of times you can tell somebody what they should or shouldn't be doing. If they don't want to take it on board there's little you can do.
"It's very difficult to sit and watch such a great talent wasted. In Ravel's position, the talent is there, he just has to change his whole life and then hopefully somewhere down the line he'll become the player he should be."
According to reports, Lazio are keen on signing Morrison, with West Ham only asking for a percentage of any further sale, while there is also speculation that two other clubs based on the continent, plus two Premier League sides, are interested.
But Morrison's reputation for violence off the field - he has admitted to witness intimidation, plus been charged but never convicted of assault - as well as a number of stories about his lack of commitment to training means Allardyce wonders if the midfielder can find a new employer.
Morrison has been on loan at Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City while on the books at Upton Park.
But his stint at Cardiff late last year appears to have been the last straw for West Ham, as he was sent back to London early after just seven appearances, with the Welsh club's manager Russell Slade bemoaning Morrison's inconsistency at training and in games.
"Rav didn't perform at Cardiff," Allardyce said.
"He went there to play games of football and try and reinvent himself. If he'd have done the business there he could have created a much more healthy position.
"He has left himself in a very difficult position now."comments