Liverpool and Chelsea have left Grimsby Town boss Ian Holloway furious after pursuing two of his schoolboy stars.
Holloway, who took charge in Cleethorpes in December 2019, has said he is “fuming” with the Premier League pair for trying to pinch two 15-year-olds.
According to The Athletic, both Liverpool and Chelsea are tracking Louis Boyd and Ben Grist.
Both players were named in Grimsby’s squad for their EFL Trophy game against Harrogate in September, aged 15.
Boyd netted in that game to become League Two club’s youngest-ever debutant and goalscorer. He was later handed his league debut with 20 minutes off the bench in the 1-0 defeat at Walsall.
Jurgen Klopp’s men and Frank Lampard’s side are understood to have enquired about the pair and Holloway is not happy.
Holloway told Grimsby Live: “Am I surprised at that? No I’m not surprised at that. Am I fuming about it? Yeah.
“These big wigs who want to take over football on the sly, they’ve already got rules passed that they’re category A clubs, and they can steal those lads off us very, very cheaply, because it suits them again doesn’t it?
“Those rules were passed by who? The academy set-up is run by people who have got enough money to have all those things in place to get a tick in the box for category A.
‘I can do it better than any one of those clubs’
“They’ve all got it because they’ve all got the money, and that means they can take those boys off me.
“I want to play them when they’re 15 because they’re good enough, and when will they ever play for them? I’m going to have to wait and see.
“I knew it would be a risk, but I don’t really care, because I care about those boys and I want to get them in my team, and I’ll teach them as good as any one of those clubs will, if not better in my opinion.
“That’s what I’ll be telling their parents. Whether they listen to me I don’t know, but I can prove one thing. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
“Look at my goalscorers the other night – 19, 19 and 21. They might not all be mine, but I’m telling you I’m in the game to make all these young gentlemen fantastic people first and fantastic players.
“I can do it better than any one of those clubs, because a lot of their brilliant young lads aren’t in their team are they?”