Liverpool handed academy transfer ban over attempts to sign Stoke youngster

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho on verge of Premier League record

Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho on verge of Premier League record

League rules strictly prohibit the offer of any inducements to encourage a move.

The Reds offered illicit inducements to a player registered to Stoke City, leading to an investigation being launched last month.

Liverpool approached the Premier League for clarification and so an investigation begun, the sanctions of which mean domestic approaches are banned, though foreign deals remain unaffected.

It relates to the club's approach to a 12-year-old academy player at Stoke City in September last year.

Liverpool have admitted the rule breaches, which also include an offer to pay the unnamed player's school fees until the age of 16. This included hosting them at Anfield for a match with expenses paid and other efforts to encourage the player, via his family, to sign for Liverpool.

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"The club's youth recruitment plans will be seriously affected by the tough sanctions imposed by the Premier League following a lengthy investigation".

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"Liverpool reverted to type against Bournemouth midweek and it is so frustrating following the Reds this season given they have won just half of their games against sides who now sit in the bottom half of the league", Owen told BetVictor.

In recent years, Liverpool have made a number of shrewd academy signings from other clubs, including the acquisitions of Raheem Sterling from QPR and Jordon Ibe from Wycombe Wanderers, who were sold for a combined £65m.

Despite the humiliation of the ban, it does not affect first-team players - meaning the club could still sign Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon, who they have shown an interest in. The coveted left-back, who has risen to prominence at Craven Cottage, turns 17 before the next transfer window and is therefore eligible to sign a professional rather than an academy contract. He can not sign for another club until Stoke receive £49,000 in compensation.