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Fulham manager Martin Jol has dismissed speculation linking Clint Dempsey with a move to Liverpool and remains hopeful the American will sign a new deal at Craven Cottage.

The 29-year-old has scored 22 goals this season and is one of the main reasons the west Londoners are sitting ninth in the Barclays Premier League.

Such form, coupled with the fact his contract expires next summer, has seen Dempsey linked with a number of clubs from across Europe.

Liverpool have been mooted as a potential destination and such speculation was stoked by Reds chairman Tom Werner, who has expressed his admiration for the United States international.

However, Jol insists he has no intention of letting the attacking midfielder leave and hopes to instead sign him up to a new deal.

“As you know, we talked to him and hopefully he will sign a contract to keep him here for the next three years,” the Dutchman said, speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Sunderland.

“If not, he’s still our player because there is no club that has made an approach for him. Of course it’s nice if they are positive about him.

“I’m very positive about a few Liverpool players, because I like them a lot, but it doesn’t mean we can afford to buy them.”

Asked if Werner’s comments bothered him, Jol added: “If a manager does that it’s different, because it’s a tap-up, but if it’s an owner, he probably doesn’t know about the rules and agreements.

“I’m not bothered about it.”

Arsenal are also understood to be interested in the versatile Texan.

“He’s been playing wide on the left most of the time but he’s still scoring goals, which is unusual for a wide player,” added Jol.

“I played him as a number nine and he still scored goals. We’ve even played him in midfield so he’s very versatile. But his main quality is that when a cross come in he’s on the end of it. Any team could use that quality.”

Dempsey is one of a number of players Fulham are currently in negotiations with and Jol revealed that in the “next week or so” they hope to finalise a deal with Pavel Pogrebnyak to keep him past the summer.

The Russia international’s arrival from Stuttgart during the January transfer window coincided with an upturn in fortunes by the banks of Thames.

The Cottagers’ impressive run has catapulted them up the table and saw them secure a first league win at Anfield on Tuesday, with Martin Skrtel’s own goal proving decisive.

Jol missed the 1-0 win against Liverpool with a chest infection that also ruled him out of last weekend’s defeat at Everton, but, while sounding hoarse, insists he is feeling better.

“It took a bit longer than I thought,” he said. “I had quite an infection in my chest and was not allowed to travel. It was quite contagious as well, but I feel better now.

“Tuesday night I had my computer and television so I had two screens and I saw the match. I kept in touch with the staff and players.

“We had to celebrate at home instead of at the stadium. I was on antibiotics, so I couldn’t drink.”

Jol gave the victory over Arsenal as the high-point of his first season at Craven Cottage.

“I had a few draws against them when I was at Spurs, but I couldn’t beat them,” he said. “Then I came to Fulham, and away from home we almost did it, we got a draw. And in the home game we managed to win and that was our best game for me.”

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