Nick Powell
Nick Powell appeared against Wolfsburg and Bournemouth (in white) but hasn't been seen since. Getty

Hull City manager Steve Bruce is hopeful the club can secure a move for Manchester United's Nick Powell before the January transfer window closes. Powell, 22, endured an injury-hit 2015 but just weeks after returning for the club's Under-21 ranks he was a shock inclusion in the first-team squad for United's crucial Champions League showdown with Wolfsburg.

With his side chasing a win to reach the knockout stages of the competition, Van Gaal introduced Powell off the bench – his first appearance for the first team in over 14 months – to replace Juan Mata. Days later Powell was thrown in the deep end again replacing Marouane Fellaini after 74 minutes in another baffling change from the manager.

The former Crewe Alexandra starlet has not been named in the first-team squad since and Bruce is hoping his side can strike a deal and bolster their own promotion hopes. "Yes, he is somebody who interests us," Bruce told a press conference, Sky Sports report. "I've liked Nick from the first time I saw him at Crewe. Whether we can get something over the line is still debatable but we are trying and we will see if we can do that."

Prior to his aborted first-team comeback, United's Under-21 boss Warren Joyce suggested the player was primed for a loan move away to rediscover some match rhythm, although he suggested at the time a Premier League club should be his ambition.

"He has proved he can play in the Championship but, if he's got ambition, which I'm sure he has, then he'd want to prove to himself he can play in the Premier League, Joyce said.

"That has got to be his aim. He's gone step-by-step to get to this stage now and that had to be the carrot dangled in front of him, the prospect of top-flight football in the future, so I am sure all those hours in the gym will be worthwhile."