Fulham manager Martin Jol has played down speculation about a January move to bring back American forward Clint Dempsey to Craven Cottage on loan, according to a report.
"It's unbelievable speculation, which is nice. I never talk about players, especially when they are not here," Jol told The Mirror.
Dempsey had 60 goals in 224 games during his five-year spell at Craven Cottage before his £6million move to Spurs in 2012. He used his success at Fulham as a springboard into a transfer and a contract with Tottenham in August 2012 that made him the highest-paid American player of all-time.
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He scored seven goals in 22 league appearances for Tottenham last season, but Spurs fell short of Champions League qualifying, finishing one-point short of the EPL’s fourth spot. Dempsey was sold to MLS side Seattle Sounders after less than 20 months in north London.
Spurs have the first option on bringing Dempsey back for three months during the MLS offseason, but Fulham and Everton have also been linked with a loan move for Dempsey in the new year.
United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said last week he wants national team players on MLS contracts to play in Europe on loan in preparation for next summer's World Cup. Klinsmann said he would work with MLS players to plan offseason loans and a January national team training camp in both Brazil and southern California.
"Our priorities are set so that the first one is if you get a chance to go on loan to Europe, do it," Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. "It is very crucial for us that the players understand that everything they do now today has an influence on Brazil 2014 next summer. They can't take it easy."
Dempsey finally got on the MLS board Sunday in his ninth game back, scoring in the 30th minute as the Seattle Sounders played to a 1-1 draw away to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS regular-season finale.
Dempsey pointed at his wrist and mouthed "about time," after getting his first point with the Sounders after 590 minutes.