American Exports: Dempsey saga takes turn for surreal

According to Martin Jol, Clint Dempsey refuses to play for Fulham again. According to Dempsey himself, there might be more to the story than that.

The will-he-move-or-won’t-he saga took a turn for the surreal on Friday, as Fulham’s manager blasted the US international during a press conference and called the situation the club is in regarding a rumored move to Liverpool “almost embarrassing.”

“Clint Dempsey wants to move,” Jol said. “He doesn’t want to commit to this club and, while I would like to keep him, it’s impossible because he wants to move. He told me that he wants to go to a Champions League club – he said it last year, he said it in the summer, and he said it again.”

Jol added that Dempsey would not figure in Fulham’s 2012-13 Premier League debut on Saturday vs. Norwich City. Dempsey – the Cottagers’ top scorer last season with 23 goals in all competitions – has been absent from Fulham’s preseason preparations and tour, training instead with the club’s youth side back in London.

The two-time World Cup veteran has yet to publicly respond to Jol’s comments, but he didn’t shy away from Twitter on Friday.

“There are two sides to the story,” he tweeted, then followed that up with, “The truth will come out soon.”

Dempsey had been linked to a move to Liverpool recently, but interest from the Reds – who didn't qualify for the Champions League this year, either – appears to have cooled.

The 29-year-old attacker is in the final year of his contract. He's been with Fulham since 2007.