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Fulham FC puts up $2.9 million to claim Dempsey

CLINT DEMPSEY Awaits ruling on work permit CLINT DEMPSEY Awaits ruling on work permit

The Revolution's Clint Dempsey is on the verge of going to Fulham FC of England's Premier League. Fulham manager Chris Coleman said the West London club and Major League Soccer have agreed to a $2.9 million transfer fee for Dempsey, pending the approval of a work permit.

Players from outside the European Union are required to have played in 75 percent of the recent matches of their national team. Dempsey, 23, participated in 9 of 13 matches for the United States this year, tying Revolution teammate Taylor Twellman for the scoring lead with four goals. Dempsey missed a 1-0 win over Latvia May 28 with an injury and was left off a pre-World Cup visit to Germany after being suspended by the Revolution following a practice scuffle with captain Joe Franchino. Dempsey did not participate in a 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic in the World Cup but was among the team's top performers in the next two games.

A Professional Footballers Association tribunal will hear Fulham's appeal for a work permit.

Fulham tied Chelsea, 2-2, yesterday on a late goal by US national team defender Carlos Bocanegra and is tied for 10th in the Premiership standings with 26 points in 21 matches. The Cottagers, whose principal investor is Harrods owner Mohamed El Fayed , have two other former MLS stars: midfielder Simon Elliott and forward Brian McBride.

"We've agreed to a fee but it still has to go to the tribunal," Coleman said before yesterday's game. "He's had a few injury problems, so he's just a little bit short there. But it's not like he's coming here to sit on the bench. He's coming because we've bought him to make a big impact. Clint's a wide player up front, can play either flank, strong with pace, a good player, good touch.

"He has all the attributes to be a good player in the Premier League, is the right age, and was in our price range."

Revolution defender Avery John will move to Queen's Park Rangers of England's Championship League, according to the Trinidad & Tobago national team website. John, 32, participated in a tryout with Leeds United earlier this month.

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