Jack Grealish has returned the compliment to Kevin De Bruyne after transfer links for the Aston Villa captain with Manchester City emerged.
England midfielder Grealish was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United last summer, but opted to stay put at his boyhood club.
It has now emerged that he is being lined up by Pep Guardiola as a possible option, who is said to be a long-term admirer of the 25-year-old.
And it appears that would put him alongside his favourite player right now in De Bruyne.
He told UMM when asked how he rated his first touch: “I do some alright touches… but come on, we need to put a but of respect on Bruno [Fernandes] and KDB – he’s my favourite player.
“I think he’s probably just the most perfect footballer in the Prem. I just try and take little bits really out of his game.”
De Bruyne said a few months ago that he is a big fan of Grealish and the creativity that he brings to the sides he is in, even admitting that he has talked about him with his City team-mates.
“I rate him very highly,” De Bruyne expressed ahead of Belgium’s win over England last year.
“He’s somebody I mentioned before, talking to the teammates at City, in a random conversation.
“In England they talked about creative problems in midfield, but he brings that to a team. He deserves a shot.”
City are expected to back Guardiola in the transfer market this summer.
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Agents expect City to go big in the next transfer window with a left back, a new centre forward and a No6 on the shopping list as they prepare to strengthen again.
It remains to be seen exactly where Grealish would fit in in that case, with a deeper-lying role expected to be where a gap could possibly one up.