Manchester United sign Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra

Manchester United have signed Crewe's highly-rated 18-year-old forward Nick Powell for an undisclosed fee.

The England Under-18 international, who scored 16 goals in 45 matches last season, has signed a four-year deal.

BBC Radio Stoke reports an initial fee of £3m will be paid, with the deal potentially rising to £6m depending on his success and appearances.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "He is an exceptional talent and has been schooled well at Crewe."

He added: "I'm delighted he has chosen to come to United. He has a lot to offer and we are all looking forward to working with him."

Powell, who scored a spectacular goal to open the scoring in Crewe's 2-0 League Two play-off final victory over Cheltenham at Wembley, said he was excited about the move.

"It really is a dream come true to be signing for Manchester United," he said.

"I have had a great time at Crewe and I would like to thank them for helping me to develop as a player over the past 13 years.

"I'm excited about continuing my development with Sir Alex and the world class players in the squad.

"The thought of making the step up to the Premier League next year is an exciting prospect. I can't wait to get started."

On Monday, Crewe manager Steve Davis had dismissed the possibility of Powell being loaned back to Alex to gain match experience in League One.

"One thing I can confirm is that he won't be coming back here on loan," he said.

"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 [fellow England Under-18 forward] Max Clayton, a chance."

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