By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Liverpool are preparing a £5 million bid for Clint Dempsey as they step up plans to sell Andy Carroll on a permanent deal.
Goal.com understands that the American has rejected a new contract offer from Fulham and has told the Londoners that he wants to leave for a Champions League-calibre club.
Liverpool have pursued Dempsey for 12 months and have now stepped up their interest in a player whom Brendan Rodgers has privately made clear that he wants to bring to Merseyside.
Fulham value the USA international at £9m but a combination of his age – 29 – and his contract situation – he has just entered the final year of his current deal – mean that they will settle for a fee of around £5m.
|DEMPSEY'S FULHAM RECORD
Newcastle have made an official bid to sign the England striker on a season-long loan, which was rejected on Sunday night by the Merseysiders.
Nevertheless, Rodgers has told Liverpool that he wants to offload the club’s record signing on a permanent deal and the club are willing to listen to any offers of around £15m.
West Ham United have made enquiries for Carroll but only have the funds to make a loan move in which the cost of his wages would be shared with Liverpool, while Fulham’s reported interest last week was believed to merely be a carefully-engineered mechanism to push through the Dempsey deal.
Aston Villa are interested in Carroll but the player’s most realistic avenue for a permanent move is a romantic return to boyhood club Newcastle.
It is believed that the Tyneside club regard Carroll as a back-up option in case they lose Demba Ba, whose future remains up in the air because of the £7m exit clause in his deal that runs until the end of the month.
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The attacking midfielder, who scored 17 Premier League goals last season and 23 in all competitions, has rejected Fulham’s offer of a new three year-contract that includes an option for a fourth year.
Dempsey, who moved to west London five-and-a-half years ago, believes that it could be the last opportunity he gets to play for one of the elite Premier League clubs.
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