Despite being linked to Liverpool all summer, the American midfielder found himself with Spurs in the final minutes of the transfer deadline day.UPDATED: Friday, Aug. 31, 10:13 p.m. ET
U.S. international midfielder Clint Dempsey has finally gotten his wish and is headed out of Fulham after agreeing to a deal with Tottenham in the final hours of the window transfer window.
According to Sky Sports, the clubs had agreed on a transfer fee of 6 million pounds ($9.5 million) and Dempsey signed a three-year deal with his new team, which is coached by Andre Villas-Boas.
“I'm very excited and looking forward to the challenge,” Dempsey said on Tottenham's official website. “To play under this head coach and play for this club is a dream come true. I want to make the most of it and work as hard as I can to get onto the field and do well.
“There are a lot of great players here, I'm looking forward to training and playing with them and trying to fight for a spot in the team.”
Dempsey, who spent the last five years with Fulham following a stint in Major League Soccer, had been seeking a move to a Champions League-caliber club after scoring 23 goal in 46 games in all competitions for the Cottagers last season.
A switch to Liverpool had been long rumored but the Reds were unable to come up with an agreement with Fulham, which had filed a formal complaint against the American-owned team for making its pursuit of the 29-year-old public.
Dempsey and Fulham coach Martin Jol have had a rocky relationship since last season, according to sources, and the player was held out of Fulham's first two games of the season. He also did not travel with the team for its preseason tour in Switzerland earlier this month.
Fulham appears to have already moved on from its former star, opening the season with a 5-0 win over Norwich followed by a strong showing in a 3-2 loss against Manchester United last weekend.
Dempsey had remained silent on all transfer issues this summer after being asked to stay away from the media as he sought a new club, according to sources close to the player. But it was well-known that he wanted out of Fulham.
“A lot was said and written ahead of me leaving Fulham. It wasn’t how it was portrayed, but that’s in the past now and we move on," Dempsey said. “I want to thank the fans for everything, some of the best memories I’ve had in football and thank the chairman for giving me the opportunity to come from MLS and compete over here.
“All I can say is thank you and now I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”
Several Premier League clubs had reached out to Dempey's representatives leading to the final day of the transfer window, including Aston Villa, Liverpool, Sunderland and Arsenal. Fulham accepted Villa's bid of 7 million pounds on Friday, but Dempsey refused to sign for the club.
Dempsey moves to Tottenham on the same day the London club offloaded Mexico's Giovani dos Santos to Mallorca of the Spanish league.