Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi has revealed that Liverpool attempted to sign his young striker Max Clayton earlier this summer.
What’s more, the approach was an illegal one.
“Max handled it very well. He didn’t knock us at all,” explained Gradi in the Daily Express.
“He had the chance to go to Liverpool, which might not happen again. I didn’t think it was right for him and in any case it was an illegal approach.
“I couldn’t stop him leaving in the June but he could see there would be first-team opportunities here. We offered five boys, including Max, identical contracts and they all signed them without any fuss.
“I am managing to keep them away from the big clubs but it’s becoming harder. The scouts will always latch on to our games because they know they are going to see good players.”
Clayton is currently 16 years old, and showed immense promise for England at the Under-17 World Cup in June.
Will Liverpool get their man – and if they do, will it be by the book?