Crewe Alexandra: Manchester United close in on £6m Nick Powell, but there'll be no loan return to Gresty Road
MANCHESTER United are on the brink of sealing a potential £6m deal for Nick Powell ... but the Crewe starlet won't be returning to Gresty Road on loan.
The Alex expect to complete the 18-year-old forward's move in the next few days, with United now the only club still in the running.
But manager Steve Davis dismissed speculation that Powell could be sent back to Crewe on a temporary basis to continue his footballing education.
He said: "I think we are practically there now with Nick's transfer. There has been a lot of talk over the last few weeks and I hope it will get resolved quickly from now.
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"I do see Nick moving on and I don't envisage him coming back on loan. I don't think that has been part of the negotiations.
"I need to know where we stand so I can plan my own squad accordingly."
The chase for Powell intensified when the youngster scored his 16th goal of a breakthrough season in extraordinary style during the League Two play-off final against Cheltenham at Wembley last month.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool have all shown interest in the former Sandbach High student, who has made 64 Crewe appearances in all.
His departure could run up to a reported £6m, dependent on his future success, including international caps.
But Davis admitted the windfall was unlikely to affect his transfer dealings.
He said: "It has been well publicised that the club has lost a lot of money over the last couple of years, and that will continue.
"The directors are owed money after helping keep the club afloat and I think the majority (of the Powell fee) will be swallowed up before we think about signings."
But Davis would not rule out knocking on chairman John Bowler's door if he saw the ideal target.
He added: "If a Luke Varney or that sort of player came along who could make a big difference I am sure the chairman would back me.
"But the budget is not going to be too different. That influenced the decisions to release players like Dave Artell and Lee Bell. If we had not, there would not be much room to manoeuvre to bring in anyone else."