Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Fulham complain at Reds' Dempsey pursuit

Liverpool's advances towards Clint Dempsey have angered Fulham

Fulham have made an official complaint over Liverpool's pursuit of Clint Dempsey, the Premier League have confirmed.

Cottagers manager Martin Jol is dismayed by the conduct of Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, who last month publicly expressed his interest in the American forward.

"The Premier League has received a complaint from Fulham regarding certain comments made by Liverpool officials and is currently looking into the matter," read a statement.

Dempsey will once again be missing from Fulham's squad when they travel to Old Trafford for Saturday's clash with Manchester United. He has been dropped by Jol after agitating for a move to Liverpool, missing last weekend's 5-0 rout of Norwich.

The Reds have expressed an interest in signing the £7.5million-rated American forward, but have yet to table an offer, leaving player and club in limbo. Jol is frustrated that he has been left with an unsettled player, but has offered an olive branch to Fulham's top scorer of last season.

"Mentally Clint wants to move, he doesn't want to stay here. His head was turned and that was the problem," Jol said. "It's a problem and a situation you don't want. It's not something you can talk to a player about every day because he doesn't want to.

"I don't know if he'll remain a Fulham player. I'd love to keep him, but I'm not sure. Hopefully if he stays, then in the next couple of weeks he will change his thoughts about us. With me there's no problem and I don't think there's a problem within the team over him."

Jol denied Dempsey had refused to play for Fulham again, instead declaring it was his decision to drop the 29-year-old, who has entered the final year of his contract.

"I never said he's gone on strike," he said. "It started during our pre-season tour to Germany. I was probably a bit naive, asking 'Clint, do you want to start?'. All he said was 'you know what I want'.

"This hasn't caused any disruption to the squad because of the decision I made in Germany not to play him. After that it was very difficult to communicate. He was not committed to the team. For us it would have been better had Liverpool followed it up with a formal bid, but they haven't."

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