The drama around Roberto De Zerbi and his Brighton & Hove Albion exit has just been nudged up a gear in Italy.

After the Premier League club and manager announced they’re parting ways after two seasons together, the manager told the media that he doesn’t have a club lined up. He insisted there’s been no approaches and that he’s certainly not desperate to return to a job this summer.

Indeed, De Zerbi explained the value in having time off and using that to study developments in the game, visiting clubs to pick up ideas for the future.

That all seemed relatively calm, but now there’s a claim from Italian journalist Luca Cerchione which presents a completely different scenario and insists Brighton are set to receive a fee from an unnamed club.

CalcioNapoli24 quote him as saying: “De Zerbi’s clause has not lapsed but has been reduced thanks to a gentleman’s agreement between the manager and Brighton. To get the coach there was a club that paid the English club around €5m, less than half of what was foreseen in the contract. At this moment, everything is already done, but nothing leaks from the entourage, there is maximum confidentiality about the name of the team with which he has agreed.”

Those are clearly quite some claims, and it will be a huge scoop if Luca Cerchione turns out to be correct. Of course, it would go against much of what Brighton and De Zerbi have said about the exit, so it’s a case of waiting to see if the journalist is bang on or not.