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Bobby Wood and Hamburg in contract talks

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The HSV striker already has a deal through the 2020 season, but with potential suitors lining up to court him in the summer, could Hamburg lock him down for longer?

Soccer: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qulafying-Mexico at USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to call Bobby Wood’s last two seasons in Germany anything other than an unmitigated success. After struggling for years to break through in Germany’s lower leagues, his monster 2015/16 season with Union Berlin landed him a move to Hamburg, the only team in the Bundesliga to stay in the top flight continuously since its inaugural season in 1963. And, despite Hamburg’s early season struggles, he has still managed to prove himself a top flight striker with 9 goals across all competitions, HSV’s leading mark (in addition to being tied for the team lead in league goals). It makes sense that Hamburg wants to keep him, even as bigger clubs eye him as a great value for the summer transfer window.

Rumors of interest in England have clearly hit home in Germany, and the magic number seems to be the reported $12 million release clause in Wood’s current contract. While he remains under contract with HSV for three more seasons, that release clause could easily be triggered by many teams in England, including mid-table clubs. $12 million just isn’t that big of a figure to dissuade many clubs these days, especially for someone with Wood’s skill-set. He’s a strong, pitbull-like forward who can finish from both inside and outside the box, and he doesn’t stop running. In many ways he seems built for England, and plenty of teams will see a $12 million release clause as a bargain.

Bobby has years of experience in the German game and provided HSV stays up again this year, he finds himself as a first-choice striker on one of the most storied teams in Germany. Common sense says take a raise from the club that will keep giving you the chance to play. No one wants to make a massive move to a different league and end up riding pine for months on end. England is notorious for just such transfers. On the other hand, we don’t know if the pay raise HSV has in store could compare to what other clubs could offer Wood, and just because other players have failed to make successful transitions to England or any other foreign league doesn’t mean he will struggle in the same way.

Whether Bobby wants to leave HSV or not is still and unknown at this point, but I imagine if negotiations center around the club wanting to extend his contract and bump up his release clause, their offer for a raise in wages will need to be fairly substantial. Otherwise, it seems wise to wait on extending his contract and maintain the ability to more freely field offers from other clubs in the summer.

Think Bobby should extend his contract with HSV? Or should he go looking for greener pastures? Let us know in the comments!