Dempsey set for leap to EPL; Klinsmann or Pekerman?
Posted: Tuesday November 21, 2006 12:02AM; Updated: Tuesday November 21, 2006 2:28AM
Overseas reports have linked Clint Dempsey to Fulham and Charlton Athletic of the English Premier League.
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Clint Dempsey was presented the key to the city of his native Nacogdoches, Texas, last week, and now the U.S. Player of the Year is busy preparing for a potential transfer from the New England Revolution to the Premier League during the January transfer window. Recent overseas reports have linked Dempsey to Fulham and Charlton Athletic, but nothing official has taken place yet.
"Things are looking good," says Dempsey. "There's definitely interest from a few teams over there, but I'd think there would have to be an offer greater than the one from Charlton last summer [of $1.5 million] for MLS to take it."
Dempsey is still rehabbing the sprained ankle that kept him out of most of the MLS playoffs, but he's confident he can have a significant impact as a mid-season addition to a Premier League roster.
"If I didn't think I could make an impact I shouldn't be playing," he says. "I feel like I can go over and make a difference because I was able to make a difference during the World Cup. The only way I'll get better is to continue putting myself in that environment. It's sink or swim, and I like being around that."
One surprising twist: Dempsey recently dropped his agents, Richard Motzkin and Dan Segal of the Wasserman Media Group, the largest U.S.-based soccer agency.
"I have all the respect in the world for those guys, but I wanted to go in a different direction," Dempsey says. "I'm currently with nobody, but we'll see what happens."
Dempsey didn't wish to elaborate on whether he has an unofficial agent acting on his behalf at a time when he's trying to make a move overseas. His contract with WMG runs through November 2007, which could create an odd scenario in which Dempsey has to fork over a commission on a new EPL contract to an agency he no longer works with.
"While we're saddened and still very surprised by Clint's decision, we wish him nothing but the best," says Motzkin, who also represents Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, Tim Howard and Bobby Convey among others.
To get a better foothold overseas, L.A.-based WMG recently acquired SFX Europe, whose clients include Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and Andriy Shevchenko.