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Dempsey sweepstakes heat up
by Paul Kennedy, April 12th, 2012 3:50AM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, england

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[TRANSFER WATCH] Clint Dempsey has another year left on his contract with Fulham, but his current form -- a club record 16 EPL goals and 22 goals in all competitions -- has the British press abuzz about the chances of the Deuce moving in the offseason. The most tantalizing possibility is a move crosstown to Arsenal for what would surely be a record transfer fee for an American player.

Fulham manager Martin Jol insisted Dempsey would stick around Craven Cottage after his American had the tying goal in the Cottagers' 1-1 tie with Chelsea on Monday.

“Hopefully we will because he’s still here for next season as well, so we won’t sell him, so that is easy," the Dutch manager told Sky Sports.

After the Chelsea game, Jol praised Dempsey for his versatility: “You can play him on the left and he will score goals, you can play him up front, although it is not his favorite position, but on Saturday he held the ball up well [two goals in 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers] and today again, and if you get the delivery he’s one of the best I know.”

Dempsey's versatility makes him an attractive option for Arsenal. The Daily Mail reported that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is contemplating a bid for the American after getting reports from his staff that "he would fit perfectly into the Gunners' system."

Arsenal has already wrapped up a deal for another versatile attacking player, FC Cologne's Lukas Podolski, but its needs will depend in large part on whether it can keep Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott.

Dempsey, who has also been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham, wants to concentrate on finishing out the current season before thinking about his future plans.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said after Saturday's win over Bolton. “Some of my best memories have been at Fulham. I still have this season and one more at the club. I’m talking with Fulham but we’ll see in the summer. I just want to focus on my football and helping the club finish in the top half. That other stuff can take care of itself.”

If Dempsey were to move this summer, the lucky winner would probably need to shell out at least $16 million.

The record transfer fee for an American is the estimated $10 million Spanish club Villarreal paid for Jozy Altidore when he left the New York Red Bulls in 2008.



5 comments
  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: April 12, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
    Dempsey is a big fish in a little pond. He should stay, sign larger contract deal and be the star at a decent club.There are alot of examles of top class players who leave smaller clubs and get lost in the rotation. Sahin at Real Madrid is a perfect example..
  1. David Sirias
    commented on: April 12, 2012 at 1:52 p.m.
    Actually, I want him to go to a big club and not be the star. So long as he gets enough minutes. Less mileage on his wheels by the time 2012 comes around.
  1. Roger Sokol
    commented on: April 12, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.
    Clint should only make a move to a "big" club if he has a good opportunity to get reasonable playing time. There have been times against the bigs that he hasn't looked skillful enough or pacey enough. But he does have a knack for putting himself in the right place to score and finding the right pass or play to make to keep an attack on track. That's the intangible that makes him sooo valuable. BTW most of the hardcore Fulham faithful are pretty much resolved that they may lose him in the summer transfer window. Yet there's no regret because they see him as a great servant to the club in his time there. That's quite a complement indeed for any player.
  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: April 12, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.
    It is great to see Dempsey at the form his playing. He surpassed Donovan altogether in club level and National Team level. Donovan Who? LD used to my favorite until he started to be "queenish". He pulled himself out of the USMNT for mostly absurd reasons, only to be not missed at all. He is playing less than mediocre at the Glaxy. So Donovan Who? Ditto image of Tevez who played the queenish prima donna like LD and refused to play last year. I saw him in a couple of games recently and less than mediocre productivity just like LD. I thinkl Tevez is done. Most likely, so is LD. Down with all those pimies. And BTW send Balotelli to Siberia I give him 20 years w/o a trial. The beautiful does not need players like him with a terrible attitude.
  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: April 13, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.
    @Philippe Fontanelli: The ultimate tribute to Landon Donovan is that every time Clint Dempsey does well, Landon's name comes up. Tells you what a huge figure he casts on this entire era of American soccer. Me personally, I'm a fan of both.

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