Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United moved quickly to snap up Nick Powell once it became clear that he was a wanted man.
The 18-year-old officially completed a switch to Old Trafford from Crewe Alexandra on 1st July, with the Red Devils having seen off plenty of competition for his signature.
Powell's exploits in League Two last season saw him draw admiring glances from the Premier League's top clubs, with his potential clear for all to see.
United made their move early in an effort to keep him out of the clutches of a rival, with an agreement struck some time before the youngster shone in the fourth tier play-off final.
Ferguson is delighted to have got a deal done, with Powell tipped to be a top-flight star of the future.
He told United's official website: "We thought that if we waited until the play-offs, the secret would be out, so to speak. All the TV cameras would be focused on him and it might alert a few other clubs.
"Mind you, there were already quite a few interested. As well as Arsenal and Chelsea, we knew Manchester City were keeping tabs on him as well, so I phoned (Crewe director of football) Dario Gradi, told him we were keen and we started negotiating.
"We sorted the deal with the chairman and agreed we'd leave it until after the play-off finals.
"It was all in place a good 10 days beforehand. Nick's agent told Nick after the match and then he came up to my house the next day and we got the deal done."