Liverpool target Clint Dempsey has been left out of Fulham's match-day squad for the club's opening Premier League clash against Norwich City.
The 29-year-old USA international has been the subject of transfer speculation all summer, after Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers made public his interest in bringing him to Merseyside.
Dempsey still has 12 months to run on his Craven Cottage contract, but Martin Jol does not believe he's in the right frame of mind to start the new season, and says the transfer saga surrounding the player has become "embarrassing".
"Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad," explained the Cottagers manager. "He is not committed to the club. He wants to leave.
"I would like to keep him, but I think it's impossible. It's a sad and an almost embarrassing situation."
Jol is also unhappy at the way Liverpool spoke to the media about their plans to snare him from west London, making Fulham's pre-season plans with Dempsey almost impossible.
"That was very disappointing," said the Dutchman. "There was never an offer. Clint himself told everyone he was going to Liverpool before he came back so we really thought there was quite a firm interest in him.
"Even (Rodgers) told everyone he was interested in Clint Dempsey, but our people never had an offer on the table, so it's almost embarrassing.
"If you have shown interest in a player, especially in England, you have to follow it up with an offer. They didn't."
Dempsey's future certainly looks like it will be played away from Fulham, but Jol insists the club will not be forced into selling last season's top goalscorer on the cheap.
"Maybe Liverpool will come back. I can assure you that our chairman is strong enough. At first we didn't want to get rid of him, later on we had to change our position.
"But our view is that we won't let Clint Dempsey go on the cheap, that's for sure."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms