Sir Alex Ferguson has reflected on how Manchester United went about getting Nick Powell to join us this summer.
“We sent people to see him a few times after he started scoring a few goals,” he told the official site. “He actually first came on our radar a few years ago when he played against our youth team. But we watched him seriously from February. Mike Phelan went to see him a few times and so did our chief scout, Jim Lawlor. My brother Martin also went to see him against Torquay before I went for myself, with Mike, when Crewe played Aldershot. We were thinking things over. We’d seen a few other Premier League clubs there at the game – Everton, somebody from Arsenal, somebody from Chelsea, they were very keen on Nick, so we thought it was best to set the wheels in motion. When Mick and I went to watch Nick we came away and I said: ‘He’s definitely a player. There’s no doubt about that.’ We thought that if we waited until the play-offs the secret would be out, so to speak. All the TV cameras would be focussed on him and it might alert a few other clubs. Mind you, there were already quite a few interested. As well as Arsenal and Chelsea, we knew Manchester City were keeping tabs on him as well. 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.”
The Republik of Mancunia has brought out a brilliant downloadable World Cup preview. It contains 20 articles written by football experts on the countries our players will be representing in Brazil. There is also exclusive content from this country's top football journalists, such as Sid Lowe, Martin Lipton, Sam Wallace and Dominic Fifield. All profit is going to charity. More info on the RoM World Cup preview can be found here.
Minimum price is £4. Enter your e-mail address to receive the download and the price you would like to pay.