Clint Dempsey has made a name for himself with the U.S. team and in the English Premier League, but the attacking midfielder is expected to be an even bigger name this summer.
Dempsey, coming off a season where he set the career record for Premier League goals by an American, appears set to move on from Fulham before the transfer deadline. He tallied 23 goals and six assists in all competitions and was in the running for Player of the Year, while the Cottagers finished ninth overall.
With 12 months remaining on his contract, Fulham is likely to shop Dempsey around to avoid losing him for nothing.
At 29 years of age, Dempsey has not slowed down. He continues to show a passion for the game in both the Premier League and in international competition. Dempsey has expressed a desire to play Champions League football, but that may not be on the cards considering the four Premier League clubs that qualified for the competition.
Arsenal had been heavily linked to Dempsey, but the Gunners already have a crowded midfield, and Dempsey isn't a true winger like some players on the current squad. Arsene Wenger, who has not shown much of a liking to North American players, already added Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, and reportedly has his sights set on defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila. The Gunners also have a major issue with Robin van Persie, who is likely to depart from Emirates with clubs like Manchester City and Juventus showing interest.
None of the other three qualifiers--Manchester United, City, or Chelsea--have shown any serious interest in Dempsey in the past year.
One club appears to be the frontrunner for Dempsey. While Liverpool failed to qualify for Champions League, they will be playing in the Europa League, and new manager Brendan Rodgers appears to be piecing together a strong club for a better finish in the coming season. Multiple sources have reported that Dempsey is on Liverpool's radar.
Dempsey might fit perfectly with the Reds. He would almost certainly receive a strong amount of playing time, and should be comfortable in Rodgers' strategy. Liverpool prefer hard-nosed players, and Dempsey has received praise for his work ethic dating back to his time with the New England Revolution.
The Guardian reported that Dempsey might be swapped for inconsistent forward Andy Carroll. If such a deal doesn't come to fruition, Liverpool can simply make a bid on Dempsey, who is valued at just £9 million. Merseyside rival Everton are also reportedly interested in Dempsey.
Tottenham, who have already been active in the transfer market, might consider pursuing Dempsey. New manager Andre Villas-Boas will almost certainly lose playmaker Luka Modric, and could use a midfielder with Premier League experience. Since Dempsey already lives in London, it might be an easy and cost-effective move for Spurs.
With pre-season now getting underway across the Premier League, expect the speculation surrounding Dempsey to heat up.