Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell is expected to leave Old Trafford before the summer transfer window closes on September 2. Louis van Gaal is keen to send the 20-year-old out on loan, but the possibility of a permanent transfer has not been ruled out.
News of Powell’s likely exit comes courtesy of BBC broadcast journalist Mike Keegan, who revealed this latest development via his official Twitter account.
Powell: The story so far
Powell arrived at Manchester United in 2012 after shining for League Two outfit Crewe Alexandra, where he established his reputation as one of the Football League’s most promising young stars.
The midfielder scored a superb goal against Wigan Athletic on his Premier League debut in September 2012, but went on to make just one more league appearance during the 2012/13 campaign under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson’s successor, David Moyes, sent Powell out on loan to Wigan last season - and he made a positive impression, scoring 12 goals in 42 appearances while playing in a more advanced role.
Van Gaal leaves Powell out of US tour
However, current United boss Van Gaal opted against including the 20-year-old in his squad for the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of the US. This was the first indication that the England Under-21 international was not part of the veteran Dutch coach’s plans for the new season.
News of Van Gaal’s willingness to offload Powell also suggests that United are working hard to sign another central midfielder before the transfer window slams shut. Despite shelling out £29 million on Ander Herrera earlier this summer, the Red Devils are still worryingly short of quality in that position, and must strengthen before September 2 to stand any hope of keeping the pace with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Watch: Nick Powell in action
Powell once compared to Paul Scholes
Powell was once compared to United legend Paul Scholes, with Ferguson publicly stating that he hoped the youngster could eventually fill the former England international’s boots, following his eye-catching display against the Latics two years ago.
However, it seems that prediction may end up being rather wide of the mark. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Powell has already made his final appearance for the Premier League giants.
But Powell, who is contracted to Manchester United until the summer of 2016, will be eager to prove to Van Gaal that he is a superstar in the making.
In order for that to happen, though, he will need to secure a loan move elsewhere - rather than a permanent transfer - within the next 12 days.