Club Brugge centre-back Bjorn Engels has revealed that he is targeting a move to a "mid-table" team in order to continue his development. The 21-year-old admitted that he is not thinking about a move to the Premier League outfit Arsenal or Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund as he believes the transfer will come too early in his career.
The defender came up through the ranks of the Belgium outfit's youth system, before making his way into the first team in 2012. His rise in form has seen him attract interest from clubs across Europe.
Engels is open to a switch away from his current employers in the summer transfer window if Brugge agree for a fee with a potential suitor. However, the Belgium centre-half admitted that he remains focused with Brugge and is delighted to play in the Champions League with his side in the 2016/17 season.
"That [a move to Dortmund or Arsenal] is a bridge too far for me at the moment. A mid-table team [in a big league] would be the ideal next step for me and there have been some serious offers from such teams," Engels told Het Laatste Nieuws, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
"I am staying calm, though. I only want to be informed about it when Club also agree to a transfer.
"I am 100% focused on Club now and that will not change so long as I am here. Playing in the Champions League is a nice prospect as well. We will have to wait and see what happens."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is without the services of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista as the duo are sidelined with injuries. The German centre-back is set to be out of action until the end of this calendar year.
Engels admitted that he has drawn comparisons with new Manchester City signing John Stones. The England international left Everton and moved to the Etihad on a £47.5m ($62.2m) deal.
"I recognise a bit of myself in John Stones. Similar in height, in stature, and also a defender who's looking to play out from the back," Engels was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
"Comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong in the air, occasionally scoring a goal. I look at him when he's playing. What's he doing? How is he positioning himself on the pitch?"