Sources close to Jurgen Klopp have detailed how the Liverpool manager would be “horrified” at the prospect of having to replay the Reds’ Carabao Cup tie at MK Dons due to the fielding of an ineligible player , according to The Times .
Pedro Chirivella came on as a second half substitute for Naby Keita during the 2-0 third round win last week, when the Reds’ goals came from James Milner and Ki-Jana Hoever.
Spanish midfielder Chirivella has been on Liverpool’s books since 2013, making his first-team debut under Brendan Rodgers in September 2015.
Prior to his outing in Buckinghamshire, his previous appearance for the Reds came in a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Swansea in May 2016.
Following two loan spells in the Netherlands, Chirivella seemingly wasn’t re-registered with the Reds following a loan spell at Spanish Segunda Division side Extremadura last season, when he also ran into registration problems and didn’t play a game.
Liverpool – who were drawn to face Arsenal at home in fourth round – insist that they they did register Chirivella as their player as far back as July, and say that the blame for the apparent loss of paperwork lies with the FA.
Klopp made 11 changes for the third round tie in Milton Keynes, including giving Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster senior debuts.
The Reds could be expelled from the competition if the EFL decide to come down hard on them, although replaying the game or a fine seems like the much more likely outcome.
West Ham were ordered to replay their League Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa in December 1999 after they were found to have fielded the ineligible Manny Omoyinmi, who had already featured twice for Gillingham earlier in the competition and so was cup-tied.
Having won the first tie on penalties at Upton Park, the Hammers lost the replayed game 3-1 after extra-time in January 2000.
In 2014, Sunderland were fined by the Premier League after they discovered they had fielded striker Ji Dong-Won in four league games without international clearance.
The South Korean had been on loan at German side Augsburg before returning to the Black Cats.