Manchester United news

United moved fast to sign Powell

July 25, 2012
By ESPN staff

Manchester United had to move quickly to stave off competition from other clubs and sign Crewe's highly-rated midfielder Nick Powell, Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed.

Nick Powell has quickly settled into life at Manchester United
PA PhotosNick Powell was a man in demand

Powell caught the eye with a series of fine performances as Crewe reached the League Two play-offs, scoring a dazzling volley in the final as they beat Cheltenham 2-0 to secure promotion.

United formally completed the deal to sign the 18-year-old on July 1, but Ferguson said the club had put the formalities in place earlier amid growing interest in him.

"We thought that, if we waited until the play-offs, the secret would be out, so to speak. All the TV cameras would be focused on him and it might alert a few other clubs," he told United's official website.

"Mind you, there were already quite a few interested. As well as Arsenal and Chelsea, we knew Manchester City were keeping tabs on him, so I phoned [Crewe director of football] Dario Gradi, told him we were keen, and we started negotiating.

"We sorted the deal with the chairman and agreed we'd leave it until after the play-off finals. It was all in place a good 10 days beforehand.

"Nick's agent told Nick after the match, and then he came up to my house the next day and we got the deal done.''