Clint Dempsey has Jurgen Klinsmann in his corner when it comes to his wish to play in the Champions League next season.
The United States head coach believes that Dempsey's form over the past few seasons warrants a chance to play in the world's top continental club competition. The Texas native has scored 36 goals over the past two seasons for Fulham and is eying a move to a bigger club.
"If you play consistently at the highest level then offers will come in. I think everybody is aware of that. His goal is the right goal, we have often discussed it," Klinsmann said on a conference call Friday.
"If he has the opportunity to go to a Champions League team, that's the creme de la creme of club soccer then you have to do that, with all the respect obviously to Fulham, as he often mentions."
One of the most prolific scorers in European soccer history, Klinsmann knows quite a bit about winning at the highest level. While he never won the Champions League, Klinsmann won the Bundlesliga crown with Bayern Munich and the Italian Super Cup with Inter along with UEFA Cup wins for both teams. Dempsey's dream might become a reality soon according to Klinsmann. The former Germany boss hinted that the Fulham star's situation might be sorted over the next few weeks.
"Hopefully something will happen over the next couple of weeks," Klinsmann said.
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Klinsmann's comments come after Dempsey discussed his future with reporters on Friday. Dempsey indicated that if he doesn't get his wish, he will just finish out his contract at Fulham and seek a move on a free transfer the following summer.
"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," Dempsey told SI.com. "I'm always going to want to play in Champions League. It's something I've never done."
He added, "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."
Dempsey's high-profile teammate Landon Donovan also backed the former Revolution player's ambition.
"I want Clint to succeed," Donovan told SI.com. "I'm happier probably than anybody when he's succeeding.He still has that crazy hunger to succeed, more so than most."
If Dempsey doesn't move this summer, Klinsmann believes that should only drive the forward to improve next season to get his ambitions.
"If it doesn't happen then he has to keep pounding away and knocking at the door."
With his intentions public, several clubs are interested in the 29-year-old. Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Schalke and Malaga are some of the clubs that have been mentioned in reports.
- Jurgen Klinsmann
- Clint Dempsey
- Champions League