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Hamburg confirm contract talks with Bobby Wood, amid reported interest

An injury kept Bobby Wood from joining the United States in matches against Honduras and Panama, but his play at the club level has secured his spot in Bruce Arena's plans.
Bobby Wood has scored nine goals for Hamburg in all competitions so far this season.

Hamburg have opened talks with U.S. international Bobby Wood about a long-term contract extension, sporting director Jens Todt has told Sport Bild.

Wood, 24, joined Hamburg on a four-year deal from Union Berlin last summer, and reportedly has a €12 million release clause in his contract.

He has been linked with Premier League clubs Leicester City and West Ham United, but the Bundesliga side hope to build their immediate future around the Hawaii-born forward.

"We are in talks with Bobby," Todt said. "We are interested in keeping him for a longer time, and adjusting his contract accordingly."

The guys discuss Tim Howard's suspension and chat with Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo about player development.

According to the report, Hamburg want to increase his salary from an annual €1.5m but have yet to decide whether to meet Wood's alleged demand to at least double that figure. The club also hope to negotiate a new €20m buy-out clause which could only be triggered from 2018.

"We are working on tying him to the club as long as possible," Todt confirmed, and coach Markus Gisdol added that it is vital for Hamburg's future development that they retain their key players.

Hamburg are currently one point clear of the relegation playoff place and on Saturday host rock-bottom Darmstadt.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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