Defender makes emphatic decision amid reported Arsenal interest
By Will Butcher
In-demand defender Bjorn Engels has ruled out a move to Arsenal this summer and is in no rush to leave his current club.
The Gunners are looking to bring in a centre-back following the loss of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel to long-term injuries, and have been keeping a close eye on the 21-year-old alongside Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
However, in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, quoted by FourFourTwo, the 21-year-old revealed that he doesn’t want to join a club of Arsenal or Dortmund’s stature and would rather settle for a mid-table side.
“That [a move to Dortmund or Arsenal] is a bridge too far for me at the moment,” Engels told Het Laatste Nieuws. “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.
“I am staying calm, though. I only want to be informed about it when Club also agree to a transfer. I am 100 per cent 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.”
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The highly-rated 21-year-old has generated interest from Europe with some superb performances and was integral as Brugge lofted their 14th Jupiler League trophy.
Despite being so young, the defensive wonderkid has made 70 appearances for his side and has found the back of the net 10 times in league and cup encounters.
Brugge are likely to charge a hefty transfer fee if he does go, as Engels, who can play at centre-back or holding midfield, has four years remaining on his contract.
Manager Arsene Wenger has continued his reputation of favouring youth at the Emirates this summer, after signing Bolton defender Rob Holding and Japanese hotshot Takuma Asano.
In other Arsenal transfer news, this pacy winger has had a medical booked after agreeing terms with the Gunners over a move.