Crewe manager Dario Gradi claims Liverpool made an illegal approach for England Under 17 international Max Clayton.
The forward had been linked with several Premier League clubs, but signed a three-year professional contract with Crewe before he left for the U17 World Cup in June.
Gradi was delighted with Clayton's demonstration of commitment, but has accused Liverpool of attempting to sign the 16-year-old in the past.
The Crewe boss said in 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."