Premier League

Dempsey set to leave Fulham

US midfielder Dempsey looks set to leave Fulham according to manager Martin Jol.
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Fulham have fined forward Clint Dempsey for refusing to play for the club, Press Association Sport understands.

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Cottagers manager Martin Jol revealed on Friday that Dempsey would not be included in the club's squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League opener against Norwich.

And Press Association Sport understands that the American has refused to play for the club as he seeks to secure a move to Liverpool, and Fulham have fined him for taking that stance.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Norwich game, an angry Jol claimed Liverpool have "embarrassed" Fulham over their failure to follow up an enquiry for Dempsey.

The Dutchman confirmed that star forward Dempsey has told him that he wants to leave for Liverpool, who have been keeping track of him all summer.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers admitted last month that he was interested in signing the 29-year-old, but the Ulsterman has never lodged a bid for Dempsey, which has left Jol fuming.

"That was very disappointing," Jol told a press conference. "Clint told everyone he was going to Liverpool before he came back so we really thought there was quite a firm interest in him.

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"Even (Rodgers) told everyone he was interested in Clint Dempsey, but our people never had an offer. It's almost embarrassing. If you have shown interest in a player, you have to follow it up with an offer."

Despite losing Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora to QPR over the last six months, Jol is now resigned to losing another one of his goalscorers in Dempsey.

Dempsey and Liverpool are in a strong bargaining position as the player only has 12 months left on his contract, but Jol insists the American will not leave unless a decent offer comes in for him.

"We've got a chairman who's quite strong and if we get the right price we will sell him and if not he'll stay here," the Dutchman added. I would like to keep him but I think it's impossible because he wants to move.

"Clint told me he wants to go to a Champions League club. I'm not sure if Liverpool is in the Champions League but if you look at the size of Liverpool, it's like a Champions League club.

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"We'll have to wait and see what happens, but for us it's a sad situation and embarrassing."

Jol is determined that Dempsey will be the only high-profile player to leave Craven Cottage this summer.

Mousa Dembele, who like Dempsey had an outstanding season last year, is attracting the attention of a number of clubs, most notably Real Madrid, according to the Belgian's agent. Jol revealed he contacted Dembele's agent to tell him to stop talking publicly about his client.

"I spoke to his agent and I told him it wasn't the cleverest thing to do," Jol added. "There was one very low bid from a Premier League club, but hopefully Dembele will stay here."

Also of concern to Jol is the future of defender Brede Hangeland, who like Dempsey only has one more year left on his current deal.

The Norwegian has been a rock at the heart of the Fulham defense since he signed four years ago, but he has not put pen to paper on the new deal offered to him.

"It's not easy," Jol said. "Hopefully he will make a decision for us and if not we have to try to cope with the situation, but hopefully Brede will sign his new contract."

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