Fulham boss Martin Jol says he remains hopeful of keeping Clint Dempsey despite refusing to play the American in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Norwich.
Dempsey, 29, has been linked with a move to Liverpool throughout the summer and said he did not want to play for the club anymore.
Asked whether there was any way back for Dempsey, Jol replied: “Of course. It’s better if he stays here because there’s no offer for us on the table. Hopefully we can change the situation. 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 midfielder scored 23 goals in 46 appearances last season and has one year left on his contract at Craven Cottage.
During the summer a post appeared on the website of the company that owns Liverpool suggesting the Reds had signed him.
It was later taken down, but Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed club chief executive Ian Ayre had been in touch with Dempsey.
However, speaking after the Reds 3-0 opening-day defeat at West Brom, Rodgers said: “There’s been lots of names linked but there’s nothing to report.”
Dempsey pulled out of Fulham’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland, telling Jol at the time 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,” added Jol earlier this week.
“Clint feels he needs a move and that move was probably Liverpool, but Liverpool bought new players and no Clint, so we have ended up with a situation with Clint here at Fulham, but 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.”
Fulham refused to confirm whether Dempsey had been fined for not training at the club in the past week as per media reports.