LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Fulham's Clint Dempsey.celebrates after scoring his second goal and Fulham's fifth goal of the match during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage on March 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
The Sun are reporting that Fulham have opened contract talks with Clint Dempsey.
The American has been in fine form this season, with eighteen goals to his name, and he is widely considered to have been holding the team in the short term absences of the likes of Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson.
Zamora has now left the club and been suitably replaced, but as Dempsey proved at home to Wolves last Sunday, he is an indispensable and lethal member of the squad.
However, his deal runs out at the end of next season and there is no doubt that a host of clubs will be chasing his signature. Manager Martin Jol, though, suggested before Saturday's tie at Aston Villa, that a the club is looking to tie the 28 year old down to a longer deal.
"We are talking to him. At any club, you want to keep your best players so that is what we try hard to do.
"He is here for at least another year, so that is not a big problem. The problem is that we want to keep him here for longer.
"He has 17 months left and we want to keep him here for the next three years."
Jol also claimed the club were in talks with other players, with Danny Murphy and Andy Johnson assumed to be on the list.
"I hope the four or five players we are talking to will stay. I am confident they will. They realise it is a very good club."