Liverpool target Clint Dempsey refusing to play for Fulham

  • @simonrice

Clint Dempsey has told Fulham he does not want to play for them again.

According to various reports, the club has responded by fining the United States international.

The forward, who has just a year remaining on his contact, has been linked with Liverpool throughout the summer, and it would now appear he is trying to force a move to Anfield.

Earlier today, Cottagers manager Martin Jol revealed Dempsey would not be included in his squad for Fulham's opening game of the season against Norwich.

The Dutch manager also intimated that it was unlikely Dempsey would ever play for Fulham again, with the club accepting he must leave.

"Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad," said Jol.

"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."

Dempsey pulled out of Fulham's pre-season training camp in Switzerland earlier this month after Liverpool confirmed they were interested in signing him.

Although, it's understood that Liverpool have not actually made an official bid, despite publicly coveting the American. Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers told his own club's website last month that he had made an inquiry about the player.

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, something that has infuriated Jol.

"That was very disappointing," the Fulham boss said.

"There was never an offer. Clint himself told everyone he was going to Liverpool before he came back so we really thought there was quite a firm interest in him.

"Even (Rodgers) told everyone he was interested in Clint Dempsey, but our people never had an offer on the table, so it's almost embarrassing.

"If you have shown interest in a player, especially in England, you have to follow it up with an offer. They didn't."

Dempsey, who scored 23 goals last season, has been training with the youth team recently, and although it looks certain he will leave, Fulham insist he will not go cheaply.

"Maybe Liverpool will come back," Jol said.

"I can assure you that our chairman is strong enough. At first we didn't want to get rid of him, later on we had to change our position.

"But our view is that we won't let Clint Dempsey go on the cheap, that's for sure."