Fulham make complaint over pursuit of Dempsey
Fulham’s feud with Liverpool over their pursuit of Clint Dempsey intensified last night when the Premier League revealed an official complaint has been lodged.
The Cottagers are dealing with the repercussions of the decision by Reds manager Brendan Rodgers to publicly voice his interest in Dempsey last month.
Dempsey has been agitating for a transfer to Anfield since, but an official offer for the £7.5 million-valued American forward has yet to be received, leaving player and coach in limbo.
Fearing that the club’s prized asset has been distracted and is unfit to play, manager Martin Jol dropped him for last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing of Norwich and will omit him from tomorrow’s squad to face Manchester United.
Jol is frustrated that he has been left with an unsettled player, but has offered an olive branch to Fulham’s top scorer of last season.
“Mentally Clint wants to move, he doesn’t want to stay here. His head was turned and that was the problem,” Jol said yesterday. “It’s a problem and a situation you don’t want. It’s not something you can talk to a player about every day because he doesn’t want to.
“I don’t know if he’ll remain a Fulham player. I’d love to keep him, but I’m not sure. Hopefully if he stays, then in the next couple of weeks he will change his thoughts about us.
“With me there’s no problem and I don’t think there’s a problem within the team over him.”
Jol denied Dempsey had refused to play for Fulham again, declaring it was his decision to drop the 29-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract.
“I never said he’s gone on strike,” he said. “It started during our pre-season tour to Germany. I was probably a bit naive, asking ‘Clint, do you want to start?’. All he said was ‘you know what I want’.
“This hasn’t caused any disruption to the squad because of the decision I made in Germany not to play him. After that it was very difficult to communicate. He was not committed to the team. For us it would have been better had Liverpool followed it up with a formal bid, but they haven’t.”
Fulham have expressed their concern over Rodgers’ conduct to the Premier League, who are to investigate the issue.
“The Premier League has received a complaint from Fulham regarding certain comments made by Liverpool officials and is currently looking into the matter,” read a statement issued by the Premier League.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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