LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s American international forward Clint Dempsey has returned home to the United States to play Major League Soccer (MLS).
“We have reached agreement with Major League Soccer for the transfer of Clint Dempsey,” a statement on the Spurs website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com) said on Saturday.
“The United States international returns to MLS after making 43 appearances and scoring 12 goals in our colours following his signing from Fulham last summer.”
The complex regulations surrounding Major League Soccer transfers means Dempsey will initially rejoin MLS and then a club, with U.S. media widely reporting it will be Seattle Sounders.
Dempsey previously played for the New England Revolution for two seasons before joining Fulham in January 2007.
The 30-year-old leaves Premier League Tottenham following the arrival of Spain’s Roberto Soldado from Valencia and Brazilian international Paulinho from Corinthians.
If Spurs sell midfielder Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for around 90 million pounds as widely predicted in the British and Spanish media, the club are likely to continue spending on players and Dempsey’s chances of regular starts would have become limited.
Dempsey, who has played 99 times for the U.S. and is their second highest scorer with 35 goals, is expected to attend Seattle’s match against FC Dallas later on Saturday.
Seattle regularly attracts 40,000-plus fans to home matches and the move represents a major coup for the club and league. (Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Alison Wildey)