HomeSportSoccerLiverpool closing in on Dempsey deal

Liverpool closing in on Dempsey deal

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LIVERPOOL — Brendan Rodgers is on the brink of bolstering his Liverpool strike force after agreeing a £10 million (about R128 million) fee for versatile Fulham forward Clint Dempsey.

The new manager expects the deal to be concluded before the end of the week and sees it as a significant breakthrough after his recent frustration over Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Convinced Sigurdsson would join him at Anfield after the attacking midfielder’s successful loan spell at Swansea last season, Rodgers was dismayed when Tottenham beat him to the punch.

Sigurdsson even flew to Germany earlier this summer and pleaded with Markus Babbel to let him link up with Rodgers on a permanent basis. Yet when the Hoffenheim manager sanctioned an £8 million permanent transfer, Sigurdsson chose White Hart Lane.

It left Rodgers short of attacking options, particularly with Andy Carroll available to anyone willing to meet a £20 million asking price, but he has wasted no time in finding a remedy in the form of Dempsey.

The 29-year-old has an impressive scoring record, as a striker or attacking midfielder, and is due on Merseyside to complete the formalities in the next few days.

Though Newcastle have failed with a loan move for Carroll and are loathe to match Liverpool’s valuation, manager Alan Pardew is pinning his hopes on owner Mike Ashley finding some common ground with his Anfield counterparts.

Newcastle sold Carroll to Liverpool for £35 million in January last year and Pardew admitted striking a compromise for the Geordie front-runner’s return is out of his hands.

He told Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle: “That whole process is a little bit more involved with the chairman and the board at Liverpool.

“We have got a great team here, a great squad, and if Andy Carroll comes it will only add to us. It’s been said that he’s available and if we are involved, then we will be involved because of the figures, not anything else, because we know he’s good enough.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has defied club orders not to speak about his eight-week race ban. He said on Uruguayan TV that the incident when he refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra last October was a misunderstanding and a Manchester United conspiracy. He also said he had cried a lot after the FA hearing.

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