Clint Dempsey, Fulham to part ways?
American forward Clint Dempsey increasingly sounds as if he will leave Fulham after 5½ seasons with the London club.
The transfer window is open until Aug. 31. It's no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career.” -- Clint Dempsey
The 29-year-old Texan is coming off the most accomplished season by an American attacking player with an English club, scoring 17 Premier League goals and 23 overall. Only Arsenal's Robin van Persie (31), Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (27) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (23) scored more league goals.
"The transfer window is open until Aug. 31. It's no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career," Dempsey said Tuesday, ahead of the Americans' exhibition against Brazil. "It it's meant to be, it will be."
After three seasons with the New England Revolution, Dempsey joined Fulham in January 2007 for a $4 million transfer fee. He has scored 50 EPL goals in 184 league matches for the Cottagers and 60 in 225 games in all competitions.
His contract has one season remaining, meaning an offer from another club would create pressure for Fulham to sell him this summer rather than risk him leaving without a fee a year from now.
"What I do is focus on the teams that I play for and I give my heart to them, work as hard as I can to try to make the most of my time and make the most of the career that I have left," Dempsey said.
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has encouraged Dempsey to sign with a bigger club.
"His goal is the right goal," the coach said last week. "If he has the opportunity to go a Champions League team, that's the creme de la creme in the world of club soccer, then you've got to do that."
Dempsey has recovered from a groin injury that caused him to miss Fulham's season finale on May 13. He said he's not ready to play 90 minutes against Brazil, but could play a part as the Americans prepare for the start of World Cup qualifying on June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press