KENYA BROWN - Sunday, May 15, 2016
Bobby Wood will finally have a shot at Germany's top-flight next season, as Hamburg confirmed that an agreement is in place for his transfer from Union Berlin.
After a breakout season, the Union Berlin forward already has his next team lined up before the summer transfer window opens as it has been confirmed that he is headed to the only team to have played in every single season in the Bundesliga.
Hamburg wasted no time in confirming the signing just hours after the completion of their 2015-16 Bundesliga season, announcing that "the 23 year-old US national team player will transfer from Berlin and is signing a four-year contract with the Rothosen until June 30, 2020."
The transfer was one of Germany's worst-kept secrets, as speculation had been building to a fevered pitch in recent days.
According to German soccer magazine Kicker, the 23-year-old missed training for the team's final 2.Bundesliga game against Freiburg on Sunday to go to Hamburg to undergo a medical before the two teams sign off on a €3.5 million transfer, which would trigger Wood's release clause.
Union Berlin president Dirk Zingler had also told the Hamburger Morgenpost earlier in the week that the team would not stand in Wood's way if he wants to leave.
"If Bobby receives a what he believes is a decent offer, he will leave Union. If he wants to prosper, we will not put any spokes in his wheels," he said.
Hamburg sporting director Dietmar Beiersdorfer expressed excitement for the signing, stating "We are very satisfied that we could complete the transfer so early and are looking forward to having a young player with much potential for development, who has already collected experience in the national team."
The Hawaii native has had a terrific season for the Iron Ones as he has bagged 17 goals this season, putting him in third place on the league scorers list. That has raised increased interest from teams not only in Germany, but also in other European leagues.
It was reported earlier in the year that English Premier League side Liverpool had expressed interest in signing Wood after a scout watched him score two goals in Union's 4-0 win over FSV Frankfurt on March 5. Other teams thought to have been interested in signing him are Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Werder Bremen.
Wood will now join the likes of Benny Feilbaber and Julian Green, who have played with Hamburg previsouly, and German-American right back Ashton Götz, who currently splits time between the first and second team.