It did not take long for possible suitors to emerge. Dempsey’s pursuers were some of the most well known clubs in the world. Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Tottenham, Roma, and Everton were all believed to be interested in acquiring the services of the prolific American goal scorer.
However, as summer began, there seemed to be only one team remaining in the “Dempsey transfer destination” discussion: Liverpool.
After scoring only 47 goals and posting a mere plus seven goal difference during the 2011-2012 English Premier League season, Liverpool realized the high-priced, Newcastle loan, Andy Carroll, was not a good fit.
Carroll’s time with the Reds has been as smooth as a mountain pass. After paying a record fee of £35 million for the striker, the Scousers would have to wait until a March 6, 2011 fixture against Manchester United to see their new addition in action.
Unfortunately, the Kop faithful are still waiting for Andy Carroll to show up.
Prior to transferring to Liverpool at the January 31, 2011 deadline, Carroll had bagged 11 goals in 19 appearances for Newcastle United. However, he was not able to maintain that goal-scoring pace the rest of the season with the Reds, nor since. In his Liverpool career, Carroll has netted only 6 goals in 42 matches of BPL action.
Coincidentally, just about the time the transfer rumors of Carroll being out at Anfield began to expound, so did rumblings of Clint Dempsey moving to Liverpool.
Only days ago, it was all but certain Andy Carroll was out at Anfield—especially since Liverpool agreed to a transfer fee with West Ham United—and a Clint Dempsey move to Merseyside was a mere technicality resting only on a transfer fee agreement.
“Buuut wait,” as a cheesy TV pitchman would say.
Andy Carroll has rebuked West Ham’s offer, and intends to stay at Anfield to earn his spot on the Liverpool squad.
Yet, there are reports he would accept a move back to the Magpies—but unless Newcastle ups the financial terms of their offer, Liverpool’s stance will remain the same. Carroll also wants a chance to play in European competition this season, which Newcastle can offer.
But what if Liverpool and Carroll cannot agree with any team on transfer terms? Where does that leave Dempsey?
One would have to believe Dempsey’s time at Craven Cottage will shortly come to an end. Especially with the controversy surrounding his non-accompaniment of Fulham to their training session in Switzerland, a return to Fulham seems shaky.
ESPN Soccernet reports Dempsey was left off the training trip so he can work on his fitness with the youth team. However, Goal.com reports Dempsey pulled himself out of the trip in order to force a move to Liverpool.
Really, looking at the reasons given, which seems more plausible: Fitness or wanting a move?
Dempsey has spent a shade over five seasons at Fulham and became the club’s top Premiership goal scorer. But with not having been on a UEFA Champion’s League or BPL contending squad—or any other domestic hardware-contending squad for that matter—it is reasonable for the 29-year-old striker to want a move to a club that can offer him that.
Nevertheless, whichever report you decide to believe about why Dempsey remained back in England while Fulham held training sessions in Switzerland, it is only logical to believe he will be leaving West London before the August 31 transfer window closes.
Yet, as much the favorite Liverpool looks to be in procuring Dempsey, if things stay as they are, they could be out the running unless the Andy Carroll situation is cleared up.
The Reds already have Luis Suarez, and added Fabio Borini through a transfer with Roma at forward. Would they dare take on another striker with Andy Carroll being adamant about staying at Anfield, turning him into another Alberto Aquilani?
If not, where does that leave Dempsey? Would Roma, an early rumored destination, surface as the leaders to land Clint to replace the loss of Borini to Liverpool, and unite him with fellow American, Michael Bradley?
One thing is for certain, wherever he ends up you’d be hard pressed to believe a return to Craven Cottage is in the cards.