Napoli defender Luiz Felipe admits that speculation linking him with a possible move to Barcelona “excites me”.
The 23-year-old is among those La Liga giants at Camp Nou are said to be considering as they piece together recruitment plans for the next transfer window.
Felipe has proved himself in European football since arriving in Rome from Ituano in 2016.
An initial loan spell at Salernitana allowed him to find his feet, before further potential was unlocked by Serie A heavyweights Lazio.
Felipe has taken in 78 appearances across the last three seasons, with those outings seeing him register on prominent radars elsewhere.
Barca are in the market for defensive reinforcements and may yet set their sights on another Brazilian.
Felipe is aware of the speculation suggesting that he is a target for those in Catalunya and is proud to be generating such talk.
He is, however, taking the rumours with a pinch of salt and claims to be fully focused on hitting his targets with Lazio for now.
Quizzed on the transfer gossip by UOL Esporte, 23-year-old Felipe said: “It excites me because it means I’m doing a good job and the big clubs are watching.
“But anyone who knows me, knows that I’m calm, and I don’t get carried away too easily.
“I have to stay focused and do my best for Lazio, who have given me confidence and support from day one.”
Offering an insight into what his immediate targets are, Felipe added: “Two of my main goals are to represent Brazil in the Olympics and the World Cup. I will do all I can to achieve it, with great respect for my team-mates.
“I think the postponement of the Olympics was the right decision. I’m not an expert on the subject, but I believe it was fair.”
Felipe is among those currently waiting on the resumption of Serie A competition in 2019-20, with the coronavirus outbreak having halted football across the globe.
The South American is still thoroughly enjoying his experience in Italy and, although he still has the option of pledging international allegiance to his adopted home, there are no plans on his part to make that call any time soon.
Felipe said: “I’m very grateful for everything Italy has given me. Since my first day here, I have been treated well by everyone and I have only compliments for all.
“I have a great affection for Italy, the club, the people, everything, but I have decided to play for Brazil because it’s my country.”