• Premier League

Dempsey underlines Champions League dreams

ESPN staff
May 30, 2012
Clint Dempsey scored 17 league goals from midfield for Fulham this season © Getty Images

Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey admits that he wants to play in the Champions League before his career is through, but remains focused on producing his best for the Cottagers.

The 29-year-old, who has one year left on his contract at Craven Cottage, scored 17 league goals for Martin Jol's side this season, attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in the process.

Since arriving in west London from New England Revolution in 2007, Dempsey has played an integral role in a Fulham side that has established itself as a Premier League stalwart and reached the final of the Europa League in 2010, losing to Atletico Madrid in extra time.

Having played at the World Cup for the USA, Dempsey is keen to play in Europe's premier club competition and has been encouraged by national coach Jurgen Klinsmann to make the step up to a team playing in the Champions League.

"The transfer window is open until August 31 - it's no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career," Dempsey said. "If it's meant to be, it will be."

Whatever the outcome of this summer's transfer comings and goings, Dempsey remains committed to Fulham until his future is decided.

"What I do is focus on the teams that I play for," he added. "I give my heart to them, work as hard as I can to try to make the most of my time and make the most of the career that I have left."

Dempsey is currently with the USA squad ahead of Thursday's friendly with Brazil, although his lack of training time following a groin injury threatens to sideline him for a second friendly after he sat out Saturday's 5-1 rout of Scotland.

"I'm lacking a little bit of match fitness, but continue working hard," Dempsey said. "I felt okay. As far as getting on the ball I felt confident. But I lacked a little bit of fitness getting around the field and being able to pressurise defensively."

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