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Thierry Henry gives his verdict on Premier League top four race.

Liverpool will be banned from signing any academy players who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the previous 18 months.

But the application was rejected by the Premier League Board.

The Reds were sanctioned for making an approach to a 12-year-old from Stoke and offering illegal inducements in an attempt to bring him to Merseyside.

He has predicted for SkySports.com that Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, and Liverpool will make the top four cut in the Premier League.

The youngster was having his school fees paid by Stoke up to the age of 16, but Liverpool offered to take them on.

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The second year of the ban is a suspended for three years.

"Liverpool have cooperated with the Premier League's inquiries in a timely and thorough manner and admitted the rule breaches asserted against them".

Liverpool could play an end-of-season friendly in Australia this summer. All the teams in the Premier League are looking for them. The ban begins immediately and lasts until next March. League rules strictly prohibit the offer of any inducements to encourage a move.

He said: "One of the reasons we became a Category One club was due to the rules that there was no movement between clubs - in other words, you couldn't poach from other academies without consent or an agreement".

With players like Sheyi Ojo, Raheem Sterling, and Jordon Ibe coming to the prestigious Kirkby academy from other academies, this ban will seriously hamper Liverpool's ability to groom star players from their academy. The young left-back turns 17 before this summer and is eligible to sign a professional contract.

The boy's parents pulled out of a deal with the Anfield club as a effect and complained to the Premier League amid an allegation they have been left liable for thousands of pounds of school fees. He can not sign for another club until Stoke receive £49,000 in compensation.


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