Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Dempsey heading for Fulham exit

Clint Dempsey could be set to leave Fulham

Wantaway forward Clint Dempsey has been left out of Fulham's squad for Saturday's season opener against Norwich and looks set to leave Craven Cottage, manager Martin Jol has confirmed.

Dempsey, who scored 23 goals last term, pulled out of Fulham's pre-season training camp in Switzerland earlier this month after Liverpool confirmed they were interested in signing him.

The Anfield club have yet to make an official bid for the American, who has one year left on his contract, but Jol thinks the player is not in the right frame of mind to play against the Canaries, and the Fulham manager said: "Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad. He is not committed to the club. He wants to leave."

He added: "I would like to keep him, but I think it's impossible. It's a sad and an almost embarrassing situation."

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers told his own club's website last month that he had made an inquiry about the player. Then the website for Massachusetts-based news channel New England Sports Network, owned by Anfield proprietors Fenway Sports Group, also published a story claiming Dempsey was a Liverpool player which infuriated Jol.

"That was very disappointing," the Fulham boss said. "There was never an offer. Clint himself told everyone he was going to Liverpool before he came back so we really thought there was quite a firm interest in him.

"Even (Rodgers) told everyone he was interested in Clint Dempsey, but our people never had an offer on the table, so it's almost embarrassing. If you have shown interest in a player, especially in England, you have to follow it up with an offer. They didn't."

Dempsey, 29, has made it clear he wants to move to a bigger club, and has been training separately from his team-mates this summer, but Jol insists the American will not be sold cheaply.

"Maybe Liverpool will come back," Jol said.

"I can assure you that our chairman is strong enough. At first we didn't want to get rid of him, later on we had to change our position. But our view is that we won't let Clint Dempsey go on the cheap, that's for sure."