Football Glossary: (to) Tap up

Play episode

(to) Tap Up

To illegally or secretly approach another team’s player in order to try to persuade them to join your club. Clubs are not supposed to talk to a player who is under contract at another club – they must ask permission from their club first. But tapping up another player is still very common in football.

Embed from Getty Images

  • Example: Tottenham have accused Manchester United of tapping up their player. They think Manchester United didn’t follow the rules about buying a player and met Berbatov secretly (2009).
  • Example: What is tapping up? Dark side of football transfer dealings revealed after Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk embarrassment (Daily Mirror, June 9 2017).

More Vocabulary

Let us know if you hear this phrase or how this might be said in another language by dropping us a line at: You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Subscribe to
Learn English Through Football

Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below

Hosted by

I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
Google | Facebook | Twitter | Mail | Website

Join the discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

Football GlossaryEpisode 327
%d bloggers like this: