Jurgen Klinsmann says United States attacker Bobby Wood has to play in the upper tier in Germany if the Union Berlin forward wants to break out as a player.
The 23-year-old forward, who has been linked with a switch to Hamburger SV, is currently enjoying his breakthrough season in German football. The Hawaiian has netted 14 goals for second-tier club, having joined the capital side from Erzgebirge Aue last summer.
Wood is under contract at the Alte Forsterei until 2018, but it is unclear if a release clause has been included in his deal at Union Berlin.
Last week, Hamburger Morgenpost reported that Wood and Hamburg sporting director Peter Knabel met in a Berlin hotel to sound out if a transfer to the Bundesliga club could be an option for Wood.
"The first league has to be his goal," U.S. boss Klinsmann told Hamburger Morgenpost about his attacker's future. "He's not a national team player by mistake. Bobby is young and has great plans. I can very well imagine he can have his breakthrough. We'd support that very much."
Klinsmann praised Wood, who currently is with the national team as they prepare for two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala.
Klinsmann said: "Bobby has a great character, he's thrusting, and comes out of his shell.
"Bobby is a quiet, introverted and very private lad."