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Fulham fume at Liverpool's Dempsey pursuit

ESPN staff
August 24, 2012 « Armstrong gives up fight against doping charges | Chartbeat test »

The Premier League is considering a complaint made by Fulham over remarks made about Clint Dempsey by the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Fulham filed the complaint last month after Rodgers told a press conference that Liverpool were interested in signing the American international.

However, Cottagers manager Martin Jol has confirmed that no offer has been received for Dempsey, 29, who was omitted from the Fulham squad to face Norwich on the opening day of the season and will also be absent from their second game at Old Trafford.

Fulham believe Rodgers contravened Premier League rules by publicly revealing his club's interest in the player.

Their complaint, received last month, was discussed by the Premier League board. The Premier League will write to the parties involved before it is decided whether any further action needs to be taken, although ESPN understands that Liverpool contacted both the league and the club with their response to the complaint.

A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League has received a complaint from Fulham FC regarding certain comments made by Liverpool FC officials, and is currently looking into the matter."

The issue was sparked by a story on a website belonging to Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group that implied that Dempsey was to become a Liverpool player.

Although the story was swiftly taken down, Rodgers, speaking during his club's American tour, told a press conference: "Clint is a player we've enquired about - it is as simple as that. Ian Ayre, our managing director, has spoken with the club to see what the position is.

"That is where we're at. He's a very talented player - but we don't like to talk about other clubs' players."

Jol had recently described the situation as "almost embarrassing" amid reports that the player was refusing to play, and claimed Dempsey had told people at Fulham that he was going to Liverpool.

Speaking on Thursday, Jol said: "Mentally Clint wants to move, he doesn't want to stay here. His head was turned and that was the problem. 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."

He added: "I never said he's gone on strike. 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."

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