Friday Kickoff: Dempsey out for opener, Van Persie signs for four years & more

Dempsey (Getty Images)

On the eve of the 2012-13 Premier League season, Clint Dempsey remains in club limbo. 

Fulham manager Martin announced that Dempsey, the club's leading scorer last season, will not be part of Fulham's matchday roster for Saturday's season opener against Norwich City while also confirming that Dempsey wants to leave Craven Cottage.

That Dempsey won't be part of the club's season opener is not all that surprising considering that he was left out of the first-team's preseason trip to Switzerland and was training with the club's youth teams to try and stay fit. He is entering the final year of his contract with Fulham, which run the risk of losing him for nothing if they do not meet his wishes to be transferred. The summer transfer window closes in two weeks.

"Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad," Jol said, according to Sky Sports. "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."

The latest development is the first instance at which Fulham have appeared open to selling Dempsey. They had previously claimed that they have no intentions of selling their top attacking asset and that they had not received any official offers for him in the transfer market.

Here are a few more stories to kick off your Friday:

VAN PERSIE SIGNS FOUR-YEAR DEAL

After moving to Manchester United from Arsenal on a £24 million transfer, reigning Premier League golden boot winner Robin Van Persie signed a four-year deal with the club, that paves the way for him to accompany the Red Devils for their season opener and play against Tim Howard and Everton on Monday.

The deal ensures Van Persie's place at Old Trafford until 2016, as he and Wayne Rooney, whose 27 league goals were second-most to Van Persie's 30 last season, will have plenty of time to acclimate with one another and comprise — on paper — one of the most lethal forward partnerships in the world. 

With Van Persie's departure, Arsenal named Belgian centerback Thomas Vermaelen its new captain, replacing the leadership void left by the departed Dutch striker.

FA FINES FERDINAND

Rio Ferdinand's racially insensitive comments on Twitter have cost him a pretty pound.

The FA fined the Manchester United centerback £45,000 for his remarks made in July after an independent commission found that "the comment was improper and brought the game into disrepute. In addition, the Commission found that the breach included a reference to ethnic origin, colour or race."

Ferdinand used the term "choc ice" in a tweet to Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, a slang term meaning that he was black on the outside and white on the inside, after Cole testified on behalf of John Terry in his defense case against Ferdinand's brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

SOUTHAMPTON SIGNS RAMIREZ

After turning down Tottenham because of a disagreement over weekly wages, Uruguayan midfielder and Olympian Gaston Ramirez appears headed to Southampton.

The newly promoted Premier League side reportedly spent a club-record £11.8 million to sign the 21-year-old Ramirez away from Bologna, where he was a former teammate of Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio. Last season, Ramirez scored eight goals in 33 matches.

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What's your take on the latest involving Dempsey? Do you see the Rooney-Van Persie partnership working for Manchester United? What do you make of the FA's punishment for Ferdinand? Do you think Southampton will be strong enough to stay up in the Premier League after this season?

Share your thoughts below.

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78 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Dempsey out for opener, Van Persie signs for four years & more

  1. Barry U says:

    Would Arsenal make more sense now that RVP is gone? I have this weird feeling about Clint at Liverpool. Guys thoughts?

  2. deepvalue says:

    Was wondering if Spurs would grab him once they sell Luka. Please?

  3. Mig22 says:

    Well, I would much prefer to see him at Arsenal even though I’m a Chelsea fan. I have no reason other than I cannot stand to watch Liverpool in any other way than rooting hard against them.

    I don’t know if his game fits at Arsenal but it would be fun to watch.

  4. pd says:

    Agreed about Gunners; with Podolski and Giroud and Walcott and artera in the mix I see a playing style and mentality that Clint could easily drop into to great effect. I hope Wenger has the sense to make his move.

    I have long been a fan of Fulham, but to have drawn this out this long has caused them to lose some points in my book. Plus it’s poor business sense in that they will probably not get what they could have if they had taken all summer to do this properly.

  5. Matt C in tampa says:

    Would rather see clint at Arse or Spurs than Pool. Plus, he’d get to stay in London. as mentioned, both those clubs now (or will) have a little money and some type of void to fill…even if Clint’s not a similar player to either RVP or Modric.

  6. biff says:

    Really sorry to see Clint Dempsey having to go through this, with Martin Jol and Fulham–in my opinion–basically treating Dempsey like $hi*. It did not have to come to this. Dempsey should have been in a Liverpool jersey in July and had the chance to participate in the Liverpool trip to the USA. I am hoping for a happy ending before the transfer window closes August 31, that Dempsey gets his wish to go to Liverpool, but am getting a bit worried that Brendan Rodgers might now be starting to focus on other players.

  7. Jon says:

    I would think it makes sense to have one guy one the squad who has proven he can get goals in the EPL. Podolski was a notable failure the last time he went to a big club. Giroud has minimal top-level experience – two years in Ligue 1, no European experience, minimal time with France. If they bust, who else is gonna score? Walcott? Gervinho?

    I’d easily sign Dempsey with a fraction of the RVP proceeds. But I’m not Wenger…

  8. JRP says:

    Karma is a bitch Fulham. I hope you get relegated in the next five years. Screw inept management. Worst thing about pro sports.

  9. biff says:

    Why is that Mig22? Not a rhetorical questions, but why don’t you like Liverpool? It is the team that Dempsey is aching to play for and seems to me that Brendan Rodgers is sharp cookie and taking the team in a new and good and exciting direction and would be a great fit for Clint. I cannot see Dempsey winning the confidence of Wenger at Arsenal. I think that would be disaster.

  10. neilla says:

    I think Wenger is too stubborn to change his tactics no matter how much roster turnover Arsenal has, and Clint’s not really suited anywhere on the front line of the 4-3-3 they run. Plus, if the rumors that Arsenal are also selling Alex Song are true, their CL run is likely to be very, very short.

  11. Helium-3 says:

    Why do you say Jol/Fulham have been treating Dempsey like $hi* ?

    From the team’s perspective, they don’t want distractions and someone not committed to train with the rest of the team during pre-season. Also you don’t want to damage your goods that you are going to sell. Lastly, just because someone wants him doesn’t mean they are going to give him away for peanuts.

    What Fulham/Jol are doing is what any club in the same situation would do.

  12. Mig22 says:

    Fair question. Hey, why do we like/dislike any team? Some of it is history. As a 20 year Chelsea fan, the Champions League run ins with Liverpool set me against them. Plus, I never liked Benitez. I hate the song You’ll Never Walk Alone. I don’t like….well, you get the idea.

    I DO like Brendan Rodgers and was sad when he went there. It may be a great fit for Clint and I absolutely hope his move (or no move) works out great…he’s a hero. I would just prefer it not be at Anfield.

    Cheers!

  13. biff says:

    Agree with you on Podolski. I applaud the guy for having the guts to leave the womb of Koln and risk the Premier League, but I don’t think it is going to work out and would not surprise me to see Poldi riding the bench in a couple of months.

    Along that line, I have the same feeling about RvP at Man U. Cannot believe Sir Alex agreed to pay 24 million for him. RvP is only a few months younger than Clint Dempsey and no way is he twice the man as Clint. I think there is a chance that RvP is going to turn into a fiasco at Man U, either with an injury or team dynamics or whatever. Just seems like a bad fit.

  14. Shane says:

    I’m not Mig but but I hate Liverpool too. Why, their supporters treated Roy Hodgson like S*&t, they blamed all their problems on American owners even though it was Benetiz who brought the largest and second most expensive roster that sucked (Alex Ferguson agrees with this veiw btw), they supported their racist, classless superstar player’s behavior, they are a deluded dysfunctional organization. I could go on . . .

  15. biff says:

    interesting response. I sense a Liverpool fan raging inside of you that would be set free if Dempsey joins the team…

  16. Mig22 says:

    I’m with Helium here that I don’t think Jol/Fulham is dumping on Dempsey, just doing business. That business is a bit harsh, though, these days. :) Fulham got good service from CD and he made a name for himself. Everybody has won in this deal. Now it’s just about getting max value for it all.

  17. Vic says:

    If Dempsey goes to Liverpool he runs a big risk of never playing Champions League. However, if he waits a year he can leave on a free transfer and sign for a Champions League team.

  18. Mig22 says:

    LOL. That’s about the one thing that’s NOT raging inside me. That is funny though.

  19. Shane says:

    Fulham are one of the best managed teams in the premeirship. What they have done with their resources is remarkable.

  20. David says:

    The guys applying sabermetrics to soccer say that goalscorers are the most valuable commodity. But the figures I hear for Dempsey aren’t very high. If at 29 Van Persie is worth 24M pounds for 30 goals, isn’t the league’s most productive attacking midfielder worth well north of 10M pounds?

  21. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    In what way has Fulham mistreated Dempsey? By not actively shopping their best player? I’ll remind you that no team made a bid for Dempsey all summer. (Perhaps American fans are overestimating the demand for a guy with one high-scoring campaign under his belt who turns thirty this season.) And what makes you think he wants to go to Liverpool? The impetus behind his wish to leave Craven Cottage is Champions League soccer, something he wouldn’t be getting at Liverpool.

  22. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    What exactly are you talking about?

  23. pd says:

    still don’t get why Germany isn’t calling. He’d be an instant start at Dortmund or Schalke.

  24. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    At Fulham he was the focal point of the team’s offense, so his goal tally last season was a little inflated. Were he playing for a team with more goalscorers, he wouldn’t have scored nearly as often.

  25. Colin in MT says:

    David, I was thinking the same thing. All you hear is that people are concerned about Dempsey’s age. Well RVP is 29 as well and no one had any concerns about his age

  26. BrianK says:

    Helium,

    Well said. I would further that saying that Fulham is getting jerked around because Clint is American. If he was some Euro,…. He would have been sold already for $15MM+.

  27. Shane says:

    You can say the same thing about any of the top goal scorers, including RVP. And if Dempsey had the players around him that RVP and Rooney had, perhaps he would’ve scored more than 17

  28. ld says:

    you are right about one thing, RVP isnt twice the player Clint is, hes about 4 times the player Clint is…

  29. SwerveZ says:

    When does the window close? Clint’s a proven scorer in the EPL so that’s worth something…who he fits best with? My money’s on Tottenham, not Liverpool or Arsenal. He probably scored more goals than he’ll ever score again, especially if he moves to a more powerful club. If he stays at Fulham, I won’t be sad.

  30. Ben says:

    Unfortunately, at this point, I can see Fulham messing with Clint. Whatever we think of him, it is clear that a lot of top team just aren’t that interested in him. What if another mid level team comes with a valuation higher than what a team Clint wants to play for is offering?

  31. SwerveZ says:

    Yes.

  32. SwerveZ says:

    Clint can score with his left…

  33. Ben says:

    Jol says in the article that Liverpool never even made an offer for Dempsey. If that is true, it’s not as if Fulham has been rejecting offers from top teams, there haven’t been any. I think Clint is in danger of overplaying his hand. I don’t think Jol is dumping on Clint. He seem mostly angry with Rodgers and Liverpool for unsettling his player and not making an offer; now, one of his best players wants out but they don’t really have anyone to sell him to.

  34. Rlw2020 says:

    Agreed, i still think Schalke is the best fit for him. They still have not replaced Raul’s second striker role. Dempsey would be great next to Huntalaar and in front of jones, farafan etc…and Champions League THIS year!

    Dortmont would be cool, id buy a jersey for sure!, but they have loaded up on forward/midfielders the summer including Marco Reus.

    I know bundesliga teams not called Munich dont spend large amounts of money but 8-10 mill for a goal scorer would be well worth it for Schalke, imo

  35. Ben says:

    So I shouldn’t have said “I see Fulham messing with Clint.” They haven’t even had offers for him.

  36. FulhamDC says:

    I think Spurs are more interested in another Fulham player, Moussa Dembele, who also hasn’t signed a new deal.

  37. Bruv says:

    Deuce was not “left out of the first-team’s preseason trip to Switzerland.”

    He told Jol that he wanted to be transfered and wouldn’t be going on the trip.

  38. FulhamDC says:

    Everyone knew Dempsey was the focal point of the teams offense, and they did everything they could to stop him. Dempsey was fouled more than 70 times last season, twice as many times as RVP. He also led Fulham in assists in the Prem. Seems like a pretty good year to me.

  39. Rlw2020 says:

    Fulham hasnt done anything wrong. Dempsey is under contract he should be training and playing with them. If they were turning down offers then i would say so but if an offer doesnt arrive in the next 2 weeks Dempsey has but himself in a bad spot, we can only hope that Fulham is foregiving.

  40. El Principio says:

    Schalke could work but, as much as I’d love to see Dempsey on the field for BVB, he definitely would NOT be an “instant start” at Dortmund. He isn’t walking into Signal Iduna Park and taking the place of Reus, Lewandowski or Groskreutz (their 3 guys currently starting up top). Plus, he’s also behind Mario Gotze, who is still trying to crack the Starting XI. Just being realistic.

  41. Ben says:

    No one has given them an offer, at lest no team where Clint wants to go. Fulham hasn’t drawn anything out.

  42. house says:

    “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.”

    C’on duce! you have a contract, honor it!!!!

  43. soccerjohn says:

    I’m another who doesn’t see Fullham treating Dempsey poorly. Actually, I think Dempsey brought some of this delay on himself by being so strident in his demands to leave that he essentially shot Fullham’s negotiating power. My guess is that Fullham’s played this as well as it could have, waiting for the RVP situation to get resolved in hopes of creating some bidding competition (“war” would seem too strong) between Arsenal and Liverpool. It’s sad, because Deuce has essentially burned Fullham, where he would otherwise have been beloved. My guess is that the team will get far below market value for him.

  44. Ben says:

    RVP is also an out and out striker; Clint is a tweener, not quite a striker, not quite a midfielder, and that hurts his value in the market.

  45. 2tone says:

    Lol. No he’s not. RVP had one good year with Arsenal. The rest of the time he was on a trainers table.

    Clint has had no injury plagued seasons, and does much more on the field than Van Persie does.

    RVP is a better striker, btu when it comes to overall player Dempsey is better.

  46. Ben says:

    Yeah, and this is what I don’t get about the whole saga. If the goal is Champs league, Clint has a much better chance do this than making it with Liverpool.

  47. 2tone says:

    Hmm, not suited. Totally disagree.

  48. 2tone says:

    I don’t know what to think really. I think both Club and player are at fault.

    I understand Dempsey’s desire to play CL Football, but he has gone about this wrong.

    On the other hand Fulham and Jol are pressuring him to sign an extension which he doesn’t want to do.

    In the end I think Dempsey stays on for the rest of the year, and moves on in the January transfer window on a free. I gaurantee teams are waiting for that to happen. Arsene Wenger would be happy to get Dempsey for free, especially if Podolski and Giroud are not working out.

  49. rory says:

    I’m thinking Arsenal should step in and take Dempsey. With their young, often injured midfield and boatload of RVP cash, maybe Silent Stan could use a bit of that money to lock up Clint’s services.

  50. biff says:

    I found a more complete news article about Martin Jol’s press conference today than the story linked above and Jol really splashed gasoline on the fire. This is one flippant quote from Jol, who appears to be trying to publicly humiliate Dempsey:

    “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 shooting himself in the foot with loud stupid comments like this, will no doubt shave a few million off Dempsey’s transfer fee. Quite frankly, Jol sounds like a complete jerk who is now angry that Liverpool did not bite at the inflated transfer fee he demanded earlier this summer, hard for me to understand how some of you are defending his treatment of Dempsey.

    Martin Jol furious with Liverpool over failure to bid for Clint Dempsey
    link to independent.ie

  51. MidWest Ref says:

    Recall that Clint has gone through this before with his MLS contract. It is not exactly the same, but similar.

    He refused to renegotiate or sign a new contract with the MLS who he felt had renegged on prior promises to transfer him abroad. When his contract ran out, he went to Fulham ona free transfer.

    If Fulham wants transfer $$$ from Clint, they had better get going. Otherwise, our stubborn Texan will sit on the bench all year, collect his paycheck and move at the end of the season.

  52. ben in el cajon says:

    Some of the ‘supporters’ twice burned American flags to protest the previous owners. Now, I’m a free-speech loving liberal, and I used to be a bit radical, but burning any nation’s flag because your team is losing is just offensive and annoying.

    Also, they keep whining about some fatal stadium accident from two decades ago, refusing to play on the anniversary. Move on people; since the ‘Hillsboro disaster’ millions of people have died in much worse situations.

    However, I like the new ownership, and I really like Rodgers, and I shouldn’t judge the team based on the stupidest supporters, and they’ve got Mark Pelosi in the youth team, so I’m willing to like Liverpool if Dempsey goes there.

  53. biff says:

    couldn’t have said it better myself…

  54. MidWest Ref says:

    I would like to see who wins a staring contest between Clint and Jol.

  55. biff says:

    Are you sure? Was it a free transfer? If yes, then Dempsey’s transfer fee now, no matter how high, is going to be pure unadulterated 100% profit for Jol and Fulham. And if Jol and Fulham, already angry at Clint for not signing the extension, have been inflating his tansfer fee all summer and in so doing holding up the deal to Liverpool, I can darn well understand why Dempsey is not happy with them. So stupid of Jol and Fulham, with the transfer fee dropping by the minute, especially after Jol’s mean-spirited comments today.

  56. ben in el cajon says:

    I hope all the people who are siding with Dempsey also sided with Fabrigas, Nasri, Adabyeur (however that’s spelled), Rooney, and Tevez when they had spats with their clubs. Dempsey’s just playing the game behind the game, as he should, but he isn’t a victim here.

    Also, his price will always be lowere in the final year of a contract, especially at his age.

  57. Poldi will make you eat those words my friend. Legend in the making, mark my words! COYG!

  58. ld says:

    well the transfer market and Sir Alex Ferguson disagree with you; but I guess you know more about football than people who manage premier league clubs

  59. MidWest Ref says:

    I don’t think Clint has ever said “I will not play for Fulham.” Liverpool has made overtures (but no offer), and so Cint is practicing on his own.

    Clint has said he wants to leave. If I am Jol, I work on my team with players who are going to stay. It is Jol’s decision not to play (or practice) Clint. I bet (maybe hope) if he is asked, Clint would say, yes I will play for Fulham this year.

  60. biff says:

    Ha-ha. I know who I would put my money on.

  61. 2tone says:

    No, Fulham paid MLS 4 millon for Dempsey which is around 2 million pounds.

    But I agree that they may lose out on transfer money.

  62. MidWest Ref says:

    On the free transfer, I think so; but others are free to point out that I am mistaken.

  63. Ben says:

    Sky is reporting that Fulham are fining Dempsey for not playing. If that is true, then it means Clint is refusing to play, not that Fulham is benching him.

  64. 2tone says:

    Bull. Jol has already stated they aren’t playing him.

  65. Old School says:

    Do your thing Clint.

    After being thrown down the pecking order each and every time a new manager was brought it, I ain’t mad at cha’.

    There’s no loyalty in sports and certainly very little was shown to you.

    If you want to leave, play the cards you’re dealt. Making yourself a nuisance prior to the transfer deadline is a part of those cards.

    Haters will hate but this is a fairly simple and common move by players in Europe.

  66. 2tone says:

    Yes sir.

  67. Ben says:

    No, he stated that Clint isn’t going to play, and that seems to be the players decision. Fulham has repeatedly said they want him to stay, so the this just indicates that any refusal to play is coming from Dempsey, but you can make up and believe whatever you want.

  68. Ben says:

    The difference is that there is usually offers for those other players. In this case, we don’t have any evidence that any team has made an offer for Clint. Jol explicitly stated that Liverpool never put anything on the table, so Clint is trying to get a transfer, but as of now, no one wants him.

  69. jon says:

    i support the deuce in whatever he does. he has earned the right to pursue his dreams. but… if he’s refusing to play in the opener (and not being set aside by Jol) I think he’s making a tactical error. Fabregas & Nasri continued to play up and until their transfers came through. I don’t think NFL hold outs play so well over there…Just play and if noone bids, move on after your contract is up in the year. Refusing to play gives Fulham less leverage, and likley reduces any transfer bids.

  70. GJJ says:

    As a Fulham supporter and an American….he can leave right after we squeeze every last penny out of him. We can do without the drama. The sun doesn’t rise and set on Clint Dempsey’s backside. He’s good and we will be a lesser team for a while without him, but him leaving doesn’t mean relegation and we have some kids in the pipeline who are looking good for the coming years. COYW.

  71. Tony says:

    In Jol’s interview he said Liverpool never made a “firm” offer. To me that implies some type of offer otherwise why would he have to qualify it that way.

    This is getting messy but now that I think of it, most of the time Fulham looses a player it gets messy. Bullard, Zamora, Saha, and especially Mark Hughes.

  72. MidWest Ref says:

    My apologies for appearing xenophobic –

    Arsene W. may work for an American, but he will never sign an American player.

  73. MidWest Ref says:

    Gillette and Hicks were terrible owners. Nothing can be said to defend them, and nothing can be done to deflect their responsiblity.

    They were terrible owners for Liverpool, terrible owners of the Texas Rangers and terrible owners of the Montreal Canadians.

  74. Bird says:

    Speaking of staring contests, I’ve had this idea for a tifo for sometime now….something like the stand-off scene from Good the Bad and the Ugly. Clint’s eyes (scary as hell) the good, John Terrys eyes (the bad for sure + he is Chelsea) and Luis Suarez as the Ugly, pretty self explainatory with that, but if Clint transfers to Liverpool then my whole idea is rubbish.

  75. Helium-3 says:

    Are you sure about that? Ever heard of Danny Danny Karbassiyoon ?

  76. Old School says:

    BINGO.

    I’m glad someone else read between the lines on that statement.

  77. Old School says:

    Let’s be honest, Wenger had no idea “Danny Karbassiyoon” was American.

    Hell, Americans had no idea Danny Karbassiyoon was American.

    …lol.