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

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."