Joan Laporta says Pep Guardiola "loves Italy" as rumours linking the coach with AC Milan continue to mount.
The Serie A giants have lost four of their seven league matches this campaign, fuelling speculation that Massimiliano Allegri's tenure at the helm could be nearing its conclusion, with the Spaniard possibly waiting in the wings.
And Laporta, who appointed Guardiola as Camp Nou boss in 2008, sent a cryptic message to Milan president Silvio Berlusconi about his former protege's credentials and affection for the way of life in Italy.
"Pep is someone who pays no attention to frills," he told Tuttosport. "He was at Barca purely for work purposes and did it in the utmost tranquility.
"I know [Silvio] Berlusconi and I can assure him that [Pep] is a man of great charisma. Guardiola loves Italy, it is a common passion of his.
"When travelling with the team, Pep only read Italian newspapers. Do I see him on a bench again this year? Ask him. Pep is a great person, who is always in search of perfection."