In a Goal.com exclusive, the Reds' American Executive Chairman gives the Scottish coach a vote of confidence and hints at interest in Clint Dempsey.Liverpool has made it clear that the club is looking to make major improvements this summer.
In an exclusive interview with Goal.com, Liverpool's executive chairman Tom Werner not only backed manager Kenny Dalglish for next season but also insisted the club would surround him with the necessary talent to compete for trophies.
"We have great confidence in Kenny. He enjoys our full support," Werner told Goal.com. "We are confident that we will be making further progress in the future, and we are hard at work identifying transfer targets to help us continue to improve the squad."
Among the transfer targets could be midfielder Clint Dempsey. The U.S. international has 16 goals for Fulham this season, a milestone that has never been reached by an American in the English Premier League. Werner, a native of New York City who is also an executive for Fenway Sports Group, which owns both Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox, has recognized Dempsey as top talent in England.
"We never talk publicly about our transfer targets. However, any team would be lucky to have Clint Dempsey playing on their squad, " Werner said.
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Dempsey's agent, Lyle Yorks, refused to directly address Werner's comments via email. However, he mentioned that he attended Fulham's 1-0 away victory against Liverpool last Tuesday.
Adding Dempsey would help Liverpool turn around its woeful offense which is heavily responsible for the team's poor eighth-place standing in the Premier League. Despite spending over $100 million on the likes of Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson, the team's offense ranks 11th in the Premier League, mustering only 43 goals this season.
Dempsey would also assist Liverpool in building the team's profile in the United States. The club had already announced a summer tour of North America, where it will play three games in Toronto, Boston and Baltimore against Toronto FC, AS Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.
"Liverpool has a significant following in North America, and it will be great to give our supporters a chance to see the team playing live this July," Werner said. "We are particularly delighted that two of the best known football clubs in the world, Liverpool and AS Roma, will help us celebrate Fenway Park's 100th anniversary and showcase the ballpark on a wide, international stage."
Werner also discussed the similarities of running the Red Sox and Liverpool. The 62-year-old pointed to the fact that both clubs share a storied tradition with passionate fan bases. He also states that attending matches at Anfield reminds him of watching baseball games at Fenway Park in Boston.
"Going to a game at Fenway Park reminds me of matches at Anfield because both are intimate and historic settings. One feels very close to the actions on the pitch, and there is an intensity at both places that is hard to match (or even describe!)," Werner said.
"Both clubs mean so much to the supporters, which only drives John and myself and our colleagues to work ever harder to produce quality teams."
The number of European clubs being purchased by American ownership groups each season continues to grow.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, AS Roma and Derby County are some of the clubs that feature American majority ownership but the increase has led to some asking why those owners aren't getting involved with Major League Soccer.
Werner admits that Fenway Sports Group, which owns both the Red Sox and Liverpool FC, has no plans to get involved with MLS but respects the job that Don Garber and the league are doing.
"We have enormous regard for the work that Don Garber and his team at Major League Soccer do," Werner said. "However, we do not have plans at FSG to become involved with an MLS franchise as the Krafts have done."