Could Clint Dempsey Be On His Way Out Of Fulham?

BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates his goal with Andy Johnson during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Fulham at Villa Park on February 5 2011 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Perhaps, or at least that's what Jurgen Klinsmann, the recently minted head coach of the United States National Team, seemed to imply in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl.

When asked about why Dempsey wasn't called up for the U.S.'s friendly with Mexico on Wednesday, Klinsmann responded:

It's basically all based on individual situations. Dempsey got back into his team and is starting to have his rhythm. He also has to kind of clear up things with Fulham in terms of is there a possible move out there? So where I sensed kind of some personal issues on the table that need to get sorted out right away instead of flying over here and being away from the team, I evaluated what options do I have? If I don't call them in, do I want to try something out with other players that are already in-season? Every individual player has his unique situation, and that's how I made my decisions.

With Clint I said: 'You know what? Maybe it's better you sort things out with [Fulham coach] Martin Jol, who I know really well. Then I follow up after our game with the coach and with you and we'll see where this leads.'

Speculative stories linking Dempsey with a move away from Fulham have been prevalent for some time now, though hard evidence has been difficult to find. Klinsmann stating that a potential move away from Fulham being one of the reasons why Dempsey wasn't called up brings a touch of substance to the rumors.

Near the end of last season, Dempsey made clear his dream of one day playing in the UEFA Champions League:

Everyone wants to play at the highest level. If someday I get the opportunity to play for a big club in the Champions League, that would be great. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a dream. But at the same time you have to make the most of where you are.

I've been here [Fulham] for four and a half years and I've had a successful career in England which is one of the toughest leagues in the world.

But there are better things to come for me. I need to keep working hard and better myself and see where i can take this. I don't want to have regrets.

If Dempsey is to fulfill that dream, Fulham is not realistically the place to do so.. Now, at 28, Dempsey's in his prime and as the years go by a move up the ladder becomes less and less likely.

There's nothing concrete to report yet, and there very well may never be. But Klinsmann's words bring back the very real possibility that Dempsey is looking for a way out of Fulham.

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