Spurs target England starlet despite 'illegal' Liverpool claims

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Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp is being linked with a move for England starlet and former Liverpool target Max Clayton.

The Crewe Alexandra academy product has been earning rave reviews in Npower League Two, with manager Dario Gradi admitting his excitement at the player's prospects earlier in the week.

Spurs sent scouts to watch the 17-year-old on Wednesday night in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, and saw the youngster score the winner in a 1-0 win over Macclesfield Town on full debut for the Alex.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for the player in the past, with a £1 million offer thought to be on the table in 2009.

The Reds have been subsequently linked with moves to bring Clayton to Anfield in the last two summers, but Gradi hit out at Liverpool over their pursuit of the player, claiming it was 'illegal'.

"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," Gradi told the Sunday Express in July.

Clayton impressed for England U17s during the World Cup in Mexico this summer, leading to links with a handful of clubs in the Barclays Premier League.

And it's Tottenham Hotspur who appear to be taking their interest further with a scouting trip to Gresty Road.


Spurs have a track record of bringing young English players to White Hart Lane, with the signing of John Bostock in 2008 a prime example.

A handful of youth prospects have also been making waves in the U19 NextGen Series, a European Cup competition for junior sides, with Tottenham Hotspur the pick of the English sides thus far sitting top of a group that contains PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan and FC Basel.

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