Fulham target USA midfielder Clint Dempsey has passed a medical at Craven Cottage and awaits the outcome of a work permit application next week.

The Cottagers’ boss Chris Coleman is not taking the tribunal decision for granted, saying: “We’ve been there before and not won all of them, so we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed.”

The work permit guidelines for footballers include an expectation that the player has represented his country for 75% of games in the last two years, that his country must regularly make the top 70 world rankings, that the player has the ability to make a significant contribution to the development of the English game, with wages being an indication of how big a part the player will play at the club.

Unfortunately Work Permit Tribunals are well known for odd decisions like refusing a permit for a player and then granting a permit for the same player when applied for by another club in the same league. All in all it would seem that getting Dempsey to sign is just half the deal.

Hopefully the fact that in 2006 Demsey was voted MLS Player of the Year will help offset his playing in 69% of USA internationals rather than the required 75%.