Fulham desperate for transfer window to close as Clint Dempsey saga continues and Moussa Dembele heads for exit

 

Fulham boss Martin Jol concedes the closure of the transfer window on Friday night cannot come quick enough.

Already frustrated by the unsettling of star midfielder Clint Dempsey by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' overtures, it looks certain another key player will today leave Craven Cottage.

Moussa Dembele, seen as an ideal replacement for Luka Modric by Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, last night underwent a medical after the two clubs agreed a fee.

After selling Modric to Real Madrid for £33million, Fulham can expect a hefty slice of that for a player they signed two years ago for £5million from AZ Alkmaar, understood to be £15million given an apparent release clause in his contract.

At least part of the fee for Belgian midfielder Dembele appears likely to be used to sign Sunderland's Kieran Richardson in a £2million deal.

Jol has also been linked with a £6.5million move for Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, although Italian giants AC Milan are rumoured to be in the hunt.

The loss of Dembele, however, is a bitter blow for Jol, whose day of woe was compounded by defeat to Sheffield Wednesday last night in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

With Dembele missing for the game at Hillsborough and striker Mladen Petric out injured, Fulham registered just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.

"Considering they made five changes and we only had one player rested, that was very disappointing and they deserved their win," a dejected Jol told BBC Radio 5 Live after opting not to talk to the written media.

"We didn't trouble their goalkeeper enough. You could see we missed our creative department with Petric injured and with Dembele not there.

"That was the problem up front, so we couldn't play our football like we know we can."

Given the furore surrounding Dempsey in recent weeks, Dembele's departure only adds to Jol's transfer window angst.

"There are more clubs waiting and waiting and waiting for the last two or three days of the transfer window, and we are one of them," Jol said.

Gary Madine's 50th-minute penalty was all that separated the two sides, but the result was richly deserved and extends the Owls' unbeaten run under boss Dave Jones to a remarkable 17 matches.

Following promotion from League One last term, and with Wednesday second in the Championship after three matches this campaign, these are heady days for a club long starved of success.

"There's a feelgood factor around the club at the moment," Jones said.

"If we keep winning then I can keep going to the chairman (Milan Mandaric) and keep getting little things off him, something for the training ground, or maybe an extra player.

"He keeps telling me I'm putting him under pressure, which is what it's all about.

"But I take nothing for granted because this game has a tendency to kick you in the teeth big time.

"If we don't maintain our work rate, our desire and commitment, and the players don't keep doing what they're doing then we can get our faces slapped, and we're trying for that not to happen."

PA

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