By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam have been discussed as makeweights in the deal to take Clint Dempsey from Fulham to Liverpool, Goal.com can reveal.
But Brendan Rodgers’ bid to sign the USA international faces competition from Everton and Aston Villa, who have both made recent enquiries to sign Dempsey.
Liverpool are reluctant to meet Fulham’s asking price for the 29-year-old, even though the Londoners will settle for a fee of around £5-6million.
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Two of Fulham manager Martin Jol’s priorities are to sign a midfield playmaker to replace Danny Murphy and to add greater penetration to his side’s left flank.
Adam could be surplus to requirements at Anfield if Liverpool manage to capture central midfield target Joe Allen from Swansea, while Rodgers is not believed to be convinced about Downing.
Both players had disappointing debut campaigns on Merseyside after being signed in the summer of 2011, although Liverpool would not want to sell Downing, who cost around £20m, at a huge loss only 12 months later. They would be more comfortable off-loading Adam, who was a £7m arrival from Blackpool.
It is understood that Dempsey is still some way from securing a switch to Anfield even though, as revealed by Goal.com on Monday, he has pulled out of Fulham’s pre-season training camp in Switzerland to try and force through a move to Merseyside.
Dempsey told Jol last Friday that he did not want to take part in the week-long trip and he was left behind to train with the youth team in London as the first-team squad flew overseas on Monday morning.
The 29-year-old has made it clear to Jol and senior Fulham figures that he wants to quit the club for Liverpool.
As revealed by Goal.com earlier this month, the versatile forward, 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.
Despite Dempsey’s desire to quit Fulham, Liverpool have not yet made a formal offer for the USA international and, indeed, are not expected to try and sign him until Andy Carroll’s future is resolved.
The Merseysiders could be pressed into action, however, following interest from Everton and Villa, even though neither club holds the same appeal for Dempsey.
Everton manager David Moyes is a long-standing admirer of Dempsey, although he would need to raise funds by selling one of his prize assets, such as Manchester United target Leighton Baines.
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