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United close in on Powell

Manchester United are closing in on the signature of highly-rated Crewe starlet Nick Powell.

• The Trawler: Powell to United?

Powell, 18, was named Crewe's player of the season at the end of the most recent campaign, having scored 16 goals in 45 appearances - including a spectacular strike in the League Two play-off final success against Cheltenham.

Several top sides in England are said to be interested in Powell, an England Under-18 international, but the Press Association understands that United are at the head of the queue.

"Nick is still with us, but I am sure talks are still ongoing with his agent and clubs," manager Steve Davis told Crewe's official website. "These things take time and rightly so because all parties have to be satisfied with any deal.

"I still envisage him leaving us this summer, but if it doesn't happen then we would welcome him back for pre-season. We'll see what happens this week because obviously I would like to know as soon as possible if we are moving forward without him or not."

He added: "One thing I can confirm is that he won't be coming back here on loan. That wouldn't be part of it because we want to bring in a replacement of our own and give our own players, such as Max Clayton, a chance."

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