Crewe hope to sign United keeper

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Crewe Alexandra are optimistic of completing the capture of Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Williams but have ruled out re-signing Leicester City midfielder Craig Hignett.

Williams enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Gresty Road during the latter months of the campaign and helped to keep the club in Division One.

Railwaymen boss Dario Gradi is eager to retain the services of the young shot-stopper, with United not standing in the way of the deal.

Gradi has offered Williams a permanent contract with the club and admits the 21-year-old would be first choice next season.

"We have made Ben the best offer we can and his representatives are in talks with the chairman so we will see how that works out," Gradi told the club's official website.

"We have told him that it is an open-ended offer so it can be for two years, three years or four years. We will offer him whatever suits him best because we want him to come here.

"If he comes here he will start the season as the number one because he finished the season very strongly for us."

But Gradi has put the kibosh on any move for former star Hignett, who has been told he can leave Leicester following the club's relegation from The Premiership.

Hignett also spent the latter part of the campaign on loan at Crewe but Gradi admits he does not have the funds to hand the experienced midfielder a long-term contract.

He added: "It would be nice to have Craig here but we cannot afford him here.

"He still has a year left at Leicester and I don't know what the situation is regarding that but his wages would be well over the top for us."