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-caliber club.
Liverpool has pursued Dempsey for 12 months and now steps up its interest in a player whom Brendan Rodgers has privately made clear that he wants to bring to Merseyside.
Fulham values the USA international at around 9 million pounds but a combination of his age, 29, and his contract situation - he has just entered the final year of his current deal – means that the London club may have to settle for a fee of around 5 million pounds.
|DEMPSEY'S FULHAM RECORD
Newcastle has made an official bid to sign the England striker Carroll 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 is willing to listen to any offers of around 15 million pounds.
West Ham United has made enquiries for Carroll but only has 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 is 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 it loses Demba Ba, whose future remains up in the air because of the exit clause in his deal that runs until the end of the month.
Liverpool, which signed Italy forward Fabio Borini last Friday, could have to bide its time before making an offer for Dempsey.
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.