Date: 20th January 2012 at 6:02am
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Crewe manager Steve Davis looks set to get his first real taste of transfer troubles this January with his main task being keeping hold of midfield starlet Nick Powell.

The 17 year-old was yesterday awarded the Football League Young Player of the Month Award for December; joining the likes of Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey (when on loan at Blackpool) in this season’s winners list, surely adding to the growing interest in the teenage midfielder from Haslington.

With Arsenal and Chelsea already being linked with a move for the England Under-17 international this window, The East Anglian Daily Times reported on Wednesday that Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell has made an offer for Powell in the region of £2m, an offer which is said to have been rejected.

However Steve Davis, enjoying a promising start to his reign at Crewe thanks in a large part to Powell’s progress in the last couple of months, has acted quickly to deny these reports. Speaking to The Sentinel, Davis said: ‘It’s the first I’ve heard of it. My phone is always on and no-one has been in contact with me. There have been no inquiries, never mind offers.

‘I’m in close contact with the chairman. We speak every day, so I know no-one has been in touch with the club to ask about Nick.’

Of course, the usual clich√© of ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ is rolled out at this time of year, but do we believe the words of our manager or a couple of journalists from East Anglia?

One thing’s for sure – there will be interest in Powell this January. But if we harbour any real playoff ambitions, it’s of paramount importance that we retain his services until the end of the season at the very least.