Dempsey refuses to play for Fulham again

United States international Clint Dempsey has refused to play

for Fulham and is seeking a transfer to a Champions League team,

the Premier League club’s coach Martin Jol said Friday.

Dempsey was linked to Liverpool last month after Reds coach

Brendan Rodgers admitted during a preseason tour of the U.S. and

Canada that the Merseyside club had inquired about him.

However, no deal was forthcoming from Liverpool’s U.S. owners,

the Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox.

Asked if the attacking midfielder would face Norwich in

Saturday’s first league match of the season, Jol said: ”Clint is

not involved. … Clint told us that he wanted to leave and that he

wasn’t ready to play for this club anymore.”

The problems follow a superb season for the 29-year-old

midfielder, who had 23 goals in 46 games to become Fulham’s top

scorer. He joined the west London club in 2007 and is the highest

scoring American in the Premier League with 50 goals.

”The Fenway Group put on their website that Clint signed for

Liverpool. But I can assure everyone there was no firm bid from

Liverpool, so I have to say it was quite a problem for us,” Jol

said in reference to a hastily withdrawn report from FSG’s website

at the start of the preseason tour.

”Clint feels he needs a move, that he wants a move and that was

probably Liverpool,” Jol said. ”But Liverpool did their business,

bought other players, but no Clint. So we’ve ended up in a

situation with Clint here at Fulham, but he’s not committed to the


Jol clearly thought Liverpool was to blame for putting Fulham in

a difficult position.

”We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but it’s a sad

situation for us and it’s almost embarrassing,” the Dutchman


In an apparent response to Jol’s comments, Dempsey later made

two short comments on his Twitter account.

”There are two sides to the story,” he tweeted, before adding:

”The truth will come out soon.”

Jol said the standoff with Dempsey had been going on for four

weeks, and the American seemed unlikely to change his mind. As a

result, a transfer looks the only likely option.

”Hopefully there will be an offer for him because our chairman

(Mohamed Al Fayed) is quite strong and he told us that although

Clint wants to move, and wants to go to a Champions League club,

you have to respect our view that we can’t let Clint go on the

cheap,” he said. ”And we won’t.

”So if there is no firm offer on the table, he has to stay


Dempsey, who has 12 months left on his Fulham contract, has been

training away from the rest of the squad after missing Fulham’s

preseason training camp in Switzerland.

A move to Liverpool had seemed in the cards after Rodgers’

comments in Boston during the three-match tour.

”Clint is a player that we have inquired about, it is as simple

as that,” Liverpool’s new coach said. ”Ian Ayre, our managing

director, has spoken with the club just to see what the position is

and that is where it is at. He is obviously a very talented player

but we don’t like to speak about other clubs’ players.”