If you pay attention to European soccer, in particular the summer transfer season, you need to build up a nose that will sniff out the fact from the faction. At one point or another, it feels like every important player finds himself in a rumor mill, which seems to run about 80 percent speculation and 20 percent actual sourcing.
That said, there are reports Thursday that Tottenham have made U.S. National Team captain Clint Dempsey available. For what it’s worth, it was only one line from the Times newspaper (which is behind a paywall), however it was enough for ESPN’s Ian Darke to mention it in a tweet.
Clint Dempsey made available for transfer by Spurs, say reports.
— Ian Darke (@_IanDarke) July 11, 2013
Dempsey moved to Tottenham last year from Fulham at the end of the summer deadline following protracted rumors linking him to Liverpool. The 30-year-old Texan had a good, not great debut season at White Hart Lane scoring seven goals.
Tottenham does have a few midfielders on its roster similar to Dempsey in the forms of Mousa Dembélé, Gylfi Sigurðsson and Lewis Holtby. All three are significantly younger than Dempsey. The fact Tottenham played its best player — Gareth Bale — centrally more-and-more as the season progressed last year also makes Dempsey more expendable. (Bale himself is in the subject of hourly rumors about a move to Real Madrid, so keep that in mind.)
Spurs are also seeking out a go-to, reliable forward. Although Dempsey scores goals, he’s more of a hybrid midfielder/forward, not the true center forward Tottenham have set their sights upon. Rumors have linked the club to Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. Should Tottenham sign the in-demand Belgian, it leaves even less room for Dempsey in what Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is attempting to build.
Everything here remains fluid and, as with most rumors emanating from England, take it with a grain of salt. If Spurs are serious about moving Dempsey, he should find plenty of suitors either in England or across Europe. His best years might be behind him, but he remains a useful player with an eye for goal. Tottenham only paid about $9 million for him from Fulham, so recouping that money shouldn’t be a huge obstacle. Dempsey has two more years left on his contract and would have to swallow his pride and accept a move down the table in England or a challenge of playing in a new country elsewhere in Europe.
From a U.S. standpoint, it means the National Team’s top two goal-scoring options could potentially be playing for new clubs in 2013-14 with Jozy Altidore already signed for Sunderland.