Premier League investigating Manchester City's signing of young Liverpool goalkeeper
Manchester City's academy management is undergoing a Premier League probe after Liverpool expressed unhappiness about the manner in which a promising Reds goalkeeper was persuaded to move away from Merseyside.
Under-15 'keeper Louie Moulden was signed by City last summer but Liverpool officials are not convinced that the recently introduced five-step process required for players moving between category one academies was fully adhered to, according to a report from the Liverpool Echo.
Concerns were raised when Moulden was photographed signing a City contract before the transfer was officially ratified by the Premier League.
And if City are found to be in breach of regulations, they could be hit with a £25,000 fine by way of punishment.
Liverpool are not the only club voicing discontent with City's dealings with academy players as a report in The Times this morning claims that Manchester United and Everton have also made moves to avoid playing City's youth teams so that rival scouts couldn't monitor and ultimately prise away their top talent.
"Manchester United and Everton are also believed to have expressed unhappiness about City and, along with Liverpool, discussed refusing to play them at junior level after complaining of fixtures being swamped by opposition scouts seeking to recruit their players."
Premier League clubs are not permitted to sign youth players unless there are sound footballing reasons behind the move but there have been suggestions that Manchester City may be using off-field persuasions to lure youngsters into their set-up.
City's ability to offer top schooling opportunities to young players is thought to be one such tactic in turning young players' heads in their direction.
"City’s relationship with the £11,000-a-year independent school St Bede’s College in Manchester is being examined following complaints that the club promise to fund the private education of anyone enrolling at their Academy up to the age of 18 even if they leave the football programme earlier. It has also been claimed that the club pay for the education of siblings."