Since Chelsea’s FIFA ban, all manner of clubs have been claiming that their young stars have been poached by other Premier League sides.
Manchester United are threatening Le Havre with legal action after claiming United tapped up Paul Pogba, a player who signed for United a day after his 16th birthday. The French club suggested United had made financial inducements to the players family.
Man City are also in hot water after Rennes reported a player transfer with FIFA.
Meanwhile yesterday Crewe’s Director of Football, Dario Gradi, spoke out:
“We have a situation where one of our 15-year-olds has been approached.
“He is an outstanding player by any standards and he has come in and told us that he wants to leave right now to join a big club.”
While not naming Liverpool directly, the long-serving Crewe boss is referring to Max Clayton, the 15 year old player who has been of interest to Liverpool for some time.
As of last night Crewe had not contacted the FA, Liverpool and Crewe do have a relatively close off-field relationship (at least before the new owners came in).
Minimum compensation from a tribunal is usually around £100,000 but this would leave Crewe disappointed.
“The big clubs are stealing other people’s players and you worry financially for the clubs the players are stolen from.
“What sort of compensation are we going to get for all the work that has gone into developing him? Any compensation is insignificant for the effort that’s gone in.”
It is likely if Liverpool land the player they will pay a substantial improvement on the tribunal price to Crewe.
Although, thinking about it, I’m sure Hicks and Gillett would love a reason to not have to spend any money in the next few transfer windows.