Everton are in danger of receiving an academy transfer ban after it was revealed that the club are currently under investigation for allegedly breaking Premier League rules over their pursuit of a former Cardiff City player.
Liverpool and Manchester City have received similar bans on recent times. The Toffees are already facing an independent investigation into their approach of former Watford manager and current head coach Marco Silva.
It is alleged that Everton's head of academy recruitment, Martin Waldron, approached that player's family between the Under-11 and Under-12 stages of his development.
It is added that the deal, which promised the family "full costs paid for a rented house and a family allowance cash payment of £600 per month", fell apart after Waldron was told that the transfer would not comply with international clearance rules.
"Everton has been notified of an allegation relating to an approach by the club to an academy-aged player," a club statement read. "On being made aware of this, we immediately launched an internal investigation and have been cooperating fully with all of the relevant authorities."
The player did eventually move to the north-west but only after Premier League giants Manchester United agreed to play the £10,000 compensation fee to Cardiff City last year, and the unnamed youngster is now playing his club football with the Red Devils.
If Everton are deemed to have broken Premier League regulations over the signing of academy players then they could be hit with a transfer ban which will severely weaken their youth system for an estimated to two years.