Fulham have made an official complaint to the Premier League regarding Liverpool's conduct in the Clint Dempsey transfer saga.
The United States forward has been left out of Fulham's squad for the west Londoners' trip to Manchester United this weekend, which follows his omission from the 5-0 win over Norwich last Saturday.
Dempsey has a year remaining on his contract at Craven Cottage and has made no secret of his desire to move to a 'bigger' club.
While it was assumed the 29-year-old would seek Champions League football, it would appear he has his heart set on a switch to Anfield.
Speaking earlier today, manager Martin Jol said: "It's the same situation. There has been no formal bid on the table and nothing has changed."
It has now emerged Fulham made an official complaint over Liverpool's conduct last month.
A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League has received a complaint from Fulham FC regarding certain comments made by Liverpool FC officials and is currently looking into the matter."
The Anfield club have openly coveted Dempsey's services across the summer, although are yet to make an actual bid. The Reds' manager Brendan Rodgers told his own club's website last month that he had made an inquiry about the player.
He said: “Clint is a player we've inquired about, it is as simple as that.
“Ian Ayre, our managing director, has spoken with the club to see what the position is. That is where we're at. He's a very talented player but we don't like to talk about other clubs' players.”
In addition to this, the website for Massachusetts-based news channel New England Sports Network (NESN), owned by Anfield proprietors Fenway Sports Group, also published a story claiming Dempsey was a Liverpool player
This public interest unsettled the American, who pulled out of Fulham's pre-season training camp earlier this month because of it.
The conduct of Liverpool, who poached manager Roy Hodgson from the Cottagers two summers ago, has clearly infuriated Fulham.
"If you have shown interest in a player, especially in England, you have to follow it up with an offer. They didn't," said Jol.
Whether Dempsey, who scored 23 goals last season, joins Liverpool or another club, Fulham would appear resigned to the forward moving on, with Jol saying last week: "He is not committed to the club. He wants to leave.
"I would like to keep him, but I think it's impossible. It's a sad and an almost embarrassing situation."Reuse content