Martin Jol furious with Liverpool over failure to bid for Clint Dempsey
Published 17/08/2012 | 15:41
Liverpool have "embarrassed" Fulham over their failure to follow up an inquiry for Clint Dempsey, an angry Martin Jol claimed today.
The Whites boss confirmed this afternoon that star forward Dempsey has told him that he wants to leave Craven Cottage for Liverpool, who have been keeping track of the player 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.
"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."
The United States international, who scored 23 goals in all competitions last season, has been training away from the rest of the Fulham squad after missing the club's pre-season training camp, and will not play in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League season-opener against Norwich at Craven Cottage.
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.
"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 centre-back 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 defence 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."