Martin Jol added a new chapter to the Clint Dempsey saga this morning, and it’s probably the penultimate one. He also tore into Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool for effectively brainwashing his star midfielder into wanting to leave, then not actually making an offer. Here is what the BBC has given us from Martin Jol himself:
“Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad [against Norwich]. He is not committed to the club. He wants to leave. I would like to keep him, but I think it’s impossible. It’s a sad and an almost embarrassing situation.”
Then, he took it to Liverpool and their handling of the situation:
“That was very disappointing. There was never an offer. 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 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.”
Finally, he reassured Fulham fans it’s not completely over at this point, there’s still business to be done:
“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.”
Many have pointed out to me on Twitter, and I tend to agree, that Fulham still hold the cards in these negotiations. What is Clint going to do if no one ponies up what Fulham want for him? Sit out the whole first half? I guess stranger things have happened, but that’d be up there.
However, I can assure you that Jol and Rogers won’t be doing business much in the future after this blows over. In fact, from the sound of things, it seems like Fulham may even have a case against Liverpool for unsettling Clint. Don’t be shocked to see something in that department in the future.
UPDATE (12:00 PM EST): ESPN are reporting on Twitter that Clint Dempsey is refusing to play for Fulham…ever again. In addition, Sky is reporting Fulham have fined Dempsey for refusing to play in this particular match. We’ll continue to monitor the situation.
UPDATE (12:55 PM EST): Now, according to the Liverpool Echo, LFC have no more interest in signing Clint Dempsey. If he refuses to play, where will he go? According to Jol’s quotes he said Clint himself has said he was going to Liverpool. Not anymore, if this proves to be true. This is turning into a mess.