By Maximilian Bensinger
Borussia Monchengladbach defender Dante has issued a statement of intent to join a top side, preferrably in Germany.
The Brazilian has been a key figure in his side's surprise run to a fourth-placed standing at the mid-season mark, prompting speculation over his future. And indeed, he has admitted ambition to one day leave the Borussia Park.
"Ambitions are one thing, but you have to feel well too. But yes, it is my ambition to play for a big club," he exclusively told Goal.com, singling out Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen for compliments.
Dante confirmed contact with "two German clubs and one from abroad," but indicated that his intent is not to leave his current country of residence.
"The Bundesliga is for me one of the strongest leagues in the world and to play here has great appeal," he added.
When asked his thoughts on league leaders Bayern, he said the prospect of playing at the Allianz Arena would be a dream, and spoke in high praise of the German record champions.
"Bayern have a lot of big names and great players in their ranks. Munich play internationally every year, and have the opportunity and above all the quality to win titles."
However, the 28-year-old confirmed that he is in no hurry to leave his current club.
"I have a contract until 2014. I am very happy here. What is clear is that I want to play some day at a big club. This does not necessarily have to be next season.
"I'm very happy here, I feel very comfortable. My family feels very well, I have many friends here. It's great when you can meet fans on the street and they say, 'Dante, you're my favourite player'."
Ahead of Friday's match with Bayern, the first Bundesliga fixture of the 2012 calendar year, the Brazilian spoke confidently of his side's prospects.
"Well, FC Bayern are the strongest club in the league. Nevertheless, we of course want the three points. If we cover tightly and eagerly engage in the challenge, then we will have a chance."
However, he would not go so far as to assert that Gladbach will finish the season atop the Bundesliga table, and instead revealed his side will look hardly further than the next game.
"I will not think too so big, this is an unrealistic goal. Our next goal is to reach 40 points. It would of course be a dream if we were to earn a spot in a European competition."
With 17 games having been played, Gladbach are fourth in the Bundesliga table with 33 points, four behind leaders Bayern.