Cape Town - Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci has ignited further rumours linking him with a summer move to England by acknowledging Pep Guardiola's admiration of him.
The Italy international, who was linked with both Chelsea and Manchester City before the start of the 2016/17 season, told So Foot that not only is he flattered by Guardiola's interest, he is also fascinated with the Premier League.
"It fascinates me," Bonucci said of the English top-flight competition. "When I can, I watch English games, and not only for the quality of the players on display.
"I'm hot-headed, and I love the passion that exudes from their packed stands. It's for that kind of thing that I'm the first on the training pitch and the last to return to the changing room," the 29-year old said.
Prior to Guardiola taking charge at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, the former Bayern Munich coach had publically stated his admiration for Bonucci, saying that he was one of his all-time favourite players.
"When the best manager in the world says you're one of his favourite players, you act like it's nothing, but you still can't help but have a smile on your lips," Bonucci said.
"This praise only confirms my important progress. It's always nice."
Juventus appear to be on the verge of eliminating Barcelona from the Champions League after inflicting a 3 - 0 defeat on them in the home-leg of their quarter-final clash.
However, the defender was quick to acknowledge that succeeding in the prestigeous competition it is not only down to on-field performances.
"To win, you have to have a little bit of luck, which we lacked last year a bit against Bayern," he said, referring to the Turin club's 6 - 4 aggregate defeat in the Round of 16 phase.
"I don't know if Juventus will win the Champions League this year. All I know is that we have a great team and we want to show that on the pitch," he added.
When asked what the Serie A champions were lacking in order to fulfill their European ambitions, the defender gave a surprisingly candid answer.
"A little bit of understanding between the players," he said.
"This season, the squad has changed a lot, and we have to get to know each other more. I'm sure that with time we'll have great satisfaction," he added.