'I told Clint Dempsey I loved him': Martin Jol says nothing could have stopped Tottenham forward departing Fulham

United States international left Cottagers on transfer deadline day

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The Independent Football

Martin Jol says nothing could have stopped Clint Dempsey leaving Fulham, with the forward wanting Champions League football and to feel appreciated “financially”.

The United States international returns to Craven Cottage for the first time since his acrimonious departure to Tottenham on transfer deadline day.

Ahead of the match this week, Dempsey said he didn't feel "valued and appreciated" at Fulham and that was why he had to move on.

In response, Jol says Fulham did everything in their power, including telling Dempsey that he loved him.

"We did everything we could do so there are no regrets," Jol said.

"He wanted to be appreciated financially and he wanted a bigger club, a Champions League club, and that is what he probably got with Spurs.

"He didn't feel appreciated financially, but I am not the one deciding over the contracts.

"He said it time after time again that he wanted to go to a Champions League club.

"Even when I said in my last conversation with him that I loved him, it was not good enough to keep him here."

Dempsey was heavily linked with a switch to Liverpool after enjoying his most successful season for Fulham, but with the Cottagers angry over the Reds' public courtship of their leading scorer, he ended up making the shorter move to north London instead.

Asked if there was anything Fulham could have done to get make him stay, Jol shook his head at today's press conference and said: "No, no.

"You know what he wanted. He wanted to go to a Champions League club.

"If you feel appreciated, you would like maybe to stay at Fulham so there is a contradiction there.

"I think he felt loved but he still wanted to move, but of course I understand what he means.

"From the first day he came back from holiday he didn't want to play here. He wanted to move so of course you can force the issue and then come up with things.

"But hopefully he will get over it and hopefully he will feel loved at Spurs."