Dario Talks About Clayton Approach
Dario has spoken about the apparent 'illegal approach' from Liverpool towards striker Max Clayton a couple of years back.
Despite only turning 17 this month, Clayton, along with fellow England U-17 international Nick Powell, has been one of those names linked with a move away from Gresty Road for a few years already.
Dario has always insisted no youth players will be leaving the club before they've played in the Crewe first team but it's never stopped interest or tabloid rumours surrounding the cream of the crop in the Alex academy.
In September 2009, amid a wider 'tapping up' scandal involving Chelsea, Dario revealed that Liverpool had attempted (and failed) to take Max Clayton.
Clayton has since signed up to a scholarship at the club and is due to sign a three year professional contract once in turns 17 in a weeks time. He also looks set to play a big role up front for the Alex having impressed in this summer's U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
Dario has now praised Clayton in the Sunday Express for keeping a level head and remaining loyal to the Alex, whilst the club repay him with professional football at 16.
Dario told the Sunday Express:'Max handled it very well. He didn't knock us at all.
'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.'
But the fight to keep the best youngsters continues, most recently academy midfielder Danny Smith, recently called up to the England U-17s himself, has been linked with a move to Manchester City.