Crewe football chief Dario Gradi admits they're maintaining a close relationship with Liverpool.

"We still have a relationship with them," said Gradi, "It is a traditional thing, even if there is nothing written down.

"While we don't meet any more, Rick (Parry) and I go back a long way to the days when he was at the FA and approached me about their technical director job. We have a similar relationship with Manchester United, who know when we send reserve sides to play them they are not going to get kicked."

Gradi also told the Sentinel: "While Liverpool would be our first port of call if we wanted to loan players we didn't see anyone there during the game we'd want to bring in at the moment."