Clint Dempsey puts Fulham future in doubt after revealing Champions League ambitions
Friday 25 May 2012
Clint Dempsey maintains he wants to play in the Champions League, which casts further doubt over his future at Fulham.
The 29-year-old American netted 23 goals in all competitions last season to help Martin Jol's men finish ninth in the Barclays Premier League.
Dempsey - signed from New England Revolution in January 2007, has been offered improved terms by the Cottagers.
However, in an interview with American magazine Sports Illustrated, the United States forward reiterated his desire to test himself against the game's best.
"I am grateful for everything Fulham have done for me, some of the best memories I have in soccer have been there, but the fact remains that I want to play in Champions League. I want to play at the highest level possible," Dempsey said.
"I want to do as much as I can in my career and look back and say I made the most of all the opportunities I have had.
"I am always going to want to play in Champions League.
"It is something I have never done. I would like to test myself at that level. That way I can look back and say, 'Hey, I gave it a go. Either I was good enough or I wasn't good enough"'
Dempsey continued: "If I wanted to be comfortable, I would have stayed in the MLS [Major League Soccer], because I would have been closer to my family and friends, and I would have been used to the way of life.
"I am a risk-taker. I want to throw myself in the deep end and see if I can swim."
Both Arsenal and Paris St Germain are said to be tracking the American.
However, Dempsey will not let himself get distracted.
Speaking to FOX Soccer, the United States striker added: "I don't get caught up in that [speculation] because until somebody is putting down some money it doesn't matter.
"If teams are really interested, they need to put their money with their mouth is and make an offer."
Dempsey missed Fulham's final game of the Premier League season with a groin strain and is therefore a doubt for the USA's friendly with Scotland tomorrow.
Manager Martin Jol believes Fulham can improve on their ninth-placed finish if he can keep his best players, with Dempsey among that contingent.
He told the Fulham Chronicle: "If all the players are still there, I believe we can do even better.
"I think playing in Europe cost us a few points, that is for sure.
"I can imagine Stoke played as many games as us and they struggled a bit and it's not a surprise that we were in the top five over the last 20 games, because we weren't involved in Europe."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food