Houllier offers incentive to Hamann

Gerard Houllier has told German star Dietmar Hamann he will get a new contract if he maintains his current form.

Gerard Houllier has told German star Dietmar Hamann he will get a new contract if he maintains his current form.

The World Cup finalist has claimed that he would consider a move to either Schalke or Stuttgart if Liverpool do not soon offer him a new deal, with his current contract ending in the summer of 2005.

Hamann, who has just re-established himself in the Liverpool midfield after missing the first three months of the season through injury, has said: “Liverpool are the first club I shall speak to, but Stuttgart and Schalke are top-notch addresses.”

But Anfield chief Houllier insists that no new contract talks have yet started, and Hamann’s form will dictate the future.

He said: “I spoke to Didi yesterday and he has not mentioned anything of what I have read.

“But obviously if Didi performs at the level he is at the moment, we will be extremely happy to prolong his contract. At the moment, talks have not even started.”

Houllier, who continues to insist that talks will start in earnest over a new deal for Michael Owen when the players’ agent returns from holiday next month, also has to decide whether to offer Stephane Henchoz a new deal with the Swiss defender’s contract having 18 months also to run.

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