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 By Mark Lovell

Holger Badstuber says he won't return to Stuttgart and prefers move abroad

Holger Badstuber spent last season with Stuttgart.

Defender Holger Badstuber wants to leave Stuttgart this summer to join a Champions League club, the Germany international has told Sport Bild.

Badstuber left Bayern Munich after the 2016-17 season to join his boyhood club Stuttgart on a one-year deal that is now set to expire.

The 29-year-old has played his entire career in Germany, but he said that he is interested in exploring a move to another country.

"Of course, [playing abroad] would be an experience that I would like to make at some stage. There's interest and offers from abroad," he told Bild. "One thing is for sure, I don't want to wait so long [to sign] as last year, so I want to have a complete preseason preparation."

And asked if he would consider moving to a team that will compete in the Europa League next season, he said: "My aim is the Champions League, not the Europa League."

Badstuber was linked with a potential move to Manchester City last summer, and though a move to the Premier League champions might not be on the cards any longer, the defender said he and his former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola maintain a good relationship.

"I'm still in touch with Pep regularly throughout the year. We have a good relationship because we understand each other as people very well," he said. "Pep is pleased that I am fully fit again. He had a great season with City, extended his contract and is making plans for the new season."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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