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Liverpool reported in tap-up row


Gradi spent 24 years in charge of Crewe Alexandra

Liverpool are the club that has been reported by Crewe over an alleged illegal approach to sign a player from their academy, BBC Sport understands.


Crewe's director of football Dario Gradi revealed on Monday his club had made the complaint and the player in question is 15-year-old Max Clayton.


Liverpool were linked with Clayton in February 2008 and were willing to pay a six-figure sum to take him to Anfield.


Crewe rejected the approach, but Gradi says Clayton now wants to leave Alex.


He told the Daily Express: "Max has come in and told us that he wants to leave right now to join a big club.


"You worry financially for the clubs where the players are stolen from.


I'm delighted with what has happened with Chelsea. I would hope all of the big clubs are frightened to death


Dario Gradi

"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 gone in.


"It's simple, the big clubs are stealing other people's players."


Gradi revealed the news in the wake of the decision to ban Chelsea from signing any players until January 2011.


The 68-year-old, who managed Crewe between 1983 and 2007, brought players such as David Platt, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Robbie Savage and Dean Ashton through the ranks at the Alexandra Stadium during his time in charge.


Gradi has given his support to Fifa's decision to place a transfer embargo on Chelsea, after they were found guilty of inducing 18-year-old French midfielder Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens in 2007.


Chelsea have already confirmed that they will launch the "strongest possible appeal" to the ruling.


Manchester United could also face an investigation after it emerged that another French club, Le Havre, are going to ask Fifa to look into Paul Pogba's move to Old Trafford in August.


"I'm delighted with what has happened with Chelsea," added Gradi. "I would hope all the big clubs are frightened to death. There is no excuse for breaking the rules.


"We lost a 12-year-old to Everton. He was our best 12-year-old. The lure is that the bigger clubs pay big expenses.


"This kid will be getting several hundred pounds a week in expenses. We pay expenses but nothing like that. It's more a case of giving out £20 if someone can pick a kid up en-route.


"At least Fifa have given the smaller clubs hope."

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