Liverpool introduce wage cap for youngsters - report
Liverpool have introduced an academy wage cap to ensure their young players are not given too much money, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper reports that Liverpool have adopted an approach to not pay 17-year-old first-season professionals more than £40,000 in basic salary, although that figure could increase with bonuses for appearances in the under-23 side and success while on loan in the lower divisions.
Liverpool reportedly believe the shift will help those who want a route to the first team more than players who seek to earn large amount of money in their teenage years.
The Telegraph said the Premier League would welcome the cap, with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur other clubs who have enforced a similar policy.
Manager Jurgen Klopp says there is a clear pathway to his senior squad, with the former Borussia Dortmund boss keen to use those within the youth ranks rather than signing players with a similar level of ability.
"I've always been at clubs for the long-term so when I see a 16-year-old player who is good, I can always wait for him," Klopp said. "I can promise that before we sign a player who isn't a lot better than what we already have, we will always use our own boys. That's how the future should be, even in the crazy football transfer world. We want to be this special club.
"That's why I am really interested in the talent groups and all these boys. We have created a situation where all these boys see a real perspective. That's very important. They need to know that there is a way through."
Klopp has been prepared to use the talent at Liverpool's academy during his time at the club. In his first year in charge, the 49-year-old handed full debuts to eight youngsters and continued to place faith in the likes of Sheyi Ojo, Cameron Brannagan and Kevin Stewart.
"We have these wonderful stories of boys coming to the club at the age of seven and staying here and playing for the club as a professional," Klopp added. "Maybe for the Scouse people around that doesn't happen often enough.
"There are other examples where a club couldn't wait long enough. That's not a criticism. Sometimes you think the next step won't come with a player. Then he changes club and it's like: 'Oh yes, there's the next step' and you think: 'Oh my God, why didn't we wait?'
"I worked as a youth coach when I was very young. I got a team to manage and after one year the sports director came to me and asked me how many new players do you want for next year?
"I said: 'I don't want new players.' He said: 'Always take new players, the best from other clubs.' But I said I wasn't interested. I wanted to keep that team and work with them.
"You need scouting, of course. You need to have the best talents as much as possible, but I don't know the way to find out which 10-year-old boy will really go through. It's much too early at that age.
"I'd always say: 'Stay in your club, don't travel a lot, focus on your education. Just play football because it's the best game in the world, it's fun and play as often as you can.'
"It's better playing football 20 times a week in school than training three times a week with other players."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.