Stoke City target Belgian centre-back to boost defence

Stoke City are interested in signing Club Brugge centre-back Bjorn Engels, according to reports in Belgium.

Engels stands at a towering 6ft 4in and was previously reported to be attracting interest from Arsenal and Everton. The 22-year-old has already played two games for Brugge this season in the Jupiler Pro League.

Brugge are asking for a fee believed to be around £8.5 million but that is deemed to be overly optimistic considering Engels dodgy injury record. The Belgian has previously had lengthy spells on the sidelines due to shoulder and knee problems.

“Stoke City have shown specific interest for Bjorn Engels (22) from Club Brugges. Negotiations going on,” tweeted Sven Claes, a football pundit for Het Belang van Limburg.

Potters boss Mark Hughes is apparently eyeing a three-man centre-back partnership at the back and is determined to shore up on resources to implement his ideas. Hughes tied down Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi to a permanent deal after the former FC Porto man spend last season on loan at the Bet365 Stadium.

Stoke have also signed Kurt Zouma on a season long loan deal from Chelsea and are also reported to be preparing a contract extension for club captain Ryan Shawcross.