Clint Dempsey Likely to Return to Premier League on Loan During MLS Offseason

Clint DempseyClint Dempsey left the Premier League in a hurry last August. He might return to handle some unfinished business in early 2014.

Adrian Hanauer, general manager of Dempsey’s club — the Seattle Sounders — says the American soccer star will likely seek to join a Premier League club on loan during the MLS offseason, according to the Seattle Times.

“Clint has something in his contract that allows him to go [on loan] once during his contract, which obviously was intended for this offseason prior to the World Cup,” Hanauer said. “So his agent and he are kind of keeping me in the loop, and we’re sort of working on that. I can’t say for sure whether something will happen or not, but we won’t be surprised if that happens.”

Dempsey, 30, joined Seattle from Tottenham Hotspur in one of the most significant transfers in MLS history. While his production failed to meet expectations, he remains an attractive option for European clubs seeking short-term help in their attack.

Tottenham has the first option on any loan deal involving Dempsey, but it’s unlikely that he would return to White Hart Lane. Spurs had enough options in attack to make manager Andre Villas-Boas comfortable with selling Dempsey just over three months ago.

English newspapers report West Ham, Everton and Fulham could also be options, as they are seeking additional firepower up front.

Seattle was eliminated from the MLS Cup playoffs last week, and the 2014 MLS season is not expected to start until early March. Dempsey and other domestic-based U.S. national team players would lose sharpness, fitness and focus over such a long layoff, and national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is encouraging them to seek loans with European clubs during the offseason.

The January transfer window opens on at midnight on the December 31 and closes on Jan 31. Dempsey would likely join a Premier League team on a two-month loan deal, as Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry have done in recent seasons.

Dempsey is the highest-scoring American in Premier League history. He could put some distance between him and any challengers with a short return to the English top flight.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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