Martin Jol Image 3
MARTIN Jol is refusing to rule out the possibility of retaining Clint Dempsey, in spite of the USA striker's apparent determination to force a move.
Dempsey has been linked with a move to Liverpool throughout the summer and said he did not want to play for the club anymore.
The Fulham boss was delighted after his side's 5-0 win against Norwich on the opening day of the season, but would still welcome the retention of his unhappy star player - and he believes it could still happen.
"Of course there's a way back," Jol said. "It's better if he stays here because there's no offer for us [from other clubs] on the table. Hopefully we can change the situation."
Jol, who confirmed on Friday that he would not play Dempsey, added: "We all like him. Even if you don't like him, he's our top goalscorer so we're a professional club.
"I told him I almost love him as a son last year - he scored all the goals and I was always happy with him."
The United States striker scored 23 goals in 46 appearances last season and has one year left on his contract at Craven Cottage
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed club chief executive Ian Ayre had been in touch with Dempsey, who pulled out of Fulham's pre-season training camp in Switzerland, telling Jol that he wanted to leave.
"[Dempsey] told me 'you know what I want to happen' and at that time it was to go to Liverpool. I told our people that we had to listen to other clubs, but there was no other club. There have been no firm offers for Clint," Jol said.
"Clint feels he needs a move and he is not committed to the club. Hopefully there will be an offer for him but our chairman is strong. We can't let Clint go on the cheap. He has signed his contract and if no firm offer is on the table he will stay here."
After Saturday's win at the Cottage, Jol said he was delighted to have been so potent up front after losing several proven goalscorers in the summer.
"You worry, and to have Mladen Petric on the scoresheet with two goals was great," said the Dutchman. "He could be a very good goalscorer for us. I know that he's a terrific player if we can get him fully fit and I think he could be a great asset."