The inevitiable end to Clint Dempsey's Fulham career is starting to get ugly.
According to reports from England, the club has fined Dempsey an undisclosed amount for refusing to play in Saturday's season opener against Norwich City. This comes hours after Fulham manager Martin Jol claimed that he was leaving Dempsey out of his squad for the match because he had not trained with the club's first team for the last four weeks.
Jol has come to terms with the fact that Dempsey wants out of Craven Cottage, confirming that the club will sell him if the right offer comes forward and saying that Dempsey is not committed to the club anymore and wishes to go elsewhere. He refuses to let Dempsey, the club's leading scorer with 23 goals in all competitions last season, depart at a discounted rate, though. Liverpool was thought to be Dempsey's most serious suitor, but according to Jol, the Reds never made an offer.
"There was never an offer," Jol said Friday. "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 (Liverpool manager Brendan 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.
"Maybe Liverpool will come back. 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."
The 29-year-old Dempsey, who has been with Fulham since transferring from the New England Revolution in 2006, has been a fan favorite with the Cottagers and has improved every season he has been with the club. He has scored some of the most important goals in club history — including the goal against Liverpool in 2007 to keep Fulham in the top flight, and his game-winning chip against Juventus in the 2010 Europa League Round of 16 — but he sees this as perhaps his final opportunity to make a move to a club where he can achieve the goal of playing in the UEFA Champions League while still at the top of his game.
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