Manager wants Dempsey stay - but will sell if necessary

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Clint Dempsey (R) of Fulham is congratulated by manager Martin Jol after scoring a hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on January 21, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Over two days, a lot can seemingly change. On Wednesday, manager Martin Jol was speaking of contingency plans with regards to the future of the talismanic Clint Dempsey, claiming he would sell him straight away if no deal was agreed before the summer break. Now, though, the consensus seems to be that the American must stay.

Quotes attributed to Jol from a Fulham business club event on Tuesday evening suggested that, despite wanting to keep hold of the midfielder, bids coming in for him will be highly considered and most likely accepted were no contract agreed beforehand. In fairness, the plan makes utmost business sense, with only one year left on Dempsey's deal, but the words were damning nonetheless.

Rumours have been rife over the Texas-born player's future, with Roma being the latest club credited with an interest. Arsenal have been the most persistent, but Fulham boss Jol now believes a deal can still be done with Dempsey and our top scorer, with 16 Premier League goals, may well continue to be a Craven Cottage hit come this time next year. The Dutchman, though, admitted the situation was a difficult one.

"If you have a year to go it is hard to keep someone," Jol said. "If you want to keep him on a contract until it will finish that will be a difficult situation for him and for us.

"That is the main priority I want to focus on. Can we keep him? We have made him a good offer and we have to wait and see until the summer.

"But I told him yesterday that I would love him to stay here at least as long as I am here.

"He's had some season. He can score from all angles in the box and he can even score when he is not playing up front. I am very happy he is there. We are talking to him and hopefully we will get it right."

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