• Premier League

Ambitious Dempsey opens door to Arsenal

ESPN staff
May 25, 2012
Clint Dempsey scored 17 goals last season © PA Photos

Clint Dempsey has confirmed his desire to play in the Champions League, casting doubt over his Fulham future.

Dempsey, 29, was in fine goalscoring form for Fulham during the 2011-12 campaign, netting 17 goals to help the club to a ninth-placed Premier League finish.

His displays sparked conjecture over whether he will remain at Craven Cottage for much longer, amid suggestions the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool were interested parties.

And Dempsey has hinted that he will likely be unable to turn down a switch to a side competing in Europe's top competition should he receive an approach this summer.

The American told Sports Illustrated: "They've [Fulham] offered a contract, and I just wanted to focus on my football and finish off the season strongly.

"I've always said I'm grateful for everything Fulham has done for me. Some of the best memories I have in soccer have been there. But the fact remains that I want to play in Champions League. I want to play at the highest level possible.

"I want to do as much as I can in my career and look back and say I made the most of all the opportunities I've had. I'm always going to want to play in Champions League.

"It's something I've never done. I'd like to test myself at that level. That way I can look back and say, 'Hey, I gave it a go. Either I was good enough or I wasn't good enough.'

"If I wanted to be comfortable, no offence to MLS, but I would've stayed in MLS, because I would have been closer to my family and friends, and I would have been used to the way of life. I'm a risk-taker. I want to throw myself in the deep end and see if I can swim."

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