Hull City manager Steve Bruce wants to sign Nick Powell from Manchester United on a permanent basis once his current loan deal ends at the end of the season. However, speaking ahead of their FA Cup trip to Arsenal on 20 February, the Tigers boss said he fears Louis van Gaal could recall the forward early to address the current injury crisis at Old Trafford.
The 21-year-old moved to the Championship leaders during the January transfer window after having had previous spells at Wigan Athletic and Leicester City. Bruce revealed earlier this week that he was ready to hand him his debut against Arsenal, while hoping the player will help Hull in their bid to return to the Premier League.
Some have questioned whether the United starlet still has a future at Old Trafford after failing to establish himself since his arrival from Crewe Alexandra in 2012. But Bruce is confident about his talent and would be delighted to secure his services alongside Arsenal loanee duo Isaac Hayden and Chuba Akpom.
"Nick's only 21, he's a wonderful talent. I remember watching him play for Wigan in the Championship when he was 18 or 19 and he did very well. He's got fantastic talent and I'm not just looking at it for the next three months, I'd love to make it permanent if I could," the boss said.
"I've said the same about Isaac Hayden and I've gone on record to say I don't think it would be possible to get Chuba Akpom on a permanent. These are good young players who can thrive with what we can give them here."
But the Hull manager admitted his concerns that Powell's stay will be a short one considering United had up to 14 absentees ahead of their Europa League defeat against FC , including Wayne Rooney and David de Gea.
"It's a possibility because of their injury situation, but we've had no contact from them just yet about that," Bruce admitted. "I think they just want him to go out and play somewhere but, of course, they have injury problems. It's something I can't speculate on. At the moment, Nick is itching to get started here and let's hope he plays well on Saturday."
Powell has said he wants to help Hull to return to the Premier League but United will have the final decision on whether to recall him. "It's not my decision, but anything can happen in football," he said as quoted by Daily Mail.
"The injury crisis we've had at United throughout the year has been horrendous for us. But, like I said, it's not my decision. I am here to prove to everyone else that I am fit and showcase myself, whether that's to play for [United] near the end of the season or keep fighting for promotion here with Hull."