On February 17th, AS reported Barcelona have identified Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi as the ‘chosen one’ to replace Xavi Hernández.

It was also explained that the Italian’s agents, Edmundo Kabchi and Edoardo Cnajr, who also represent Ronald Araújo, had already met with Barca sporting director Deco.

A ‘confidential’ report from today’s Sport states the Brighton boss knows what he has to do to join the La Liga side.

Xavi has announced he’ll leave Barca after this season and the Catalan club have started working on appointing his successor.

The Seagulls coach is one of the candidates as the Barcelona board really likes him. The report adds he’s also open to this move but a deal won’t be easy.

Sport state De Zerbi has a €15m release clause in his Brighton contract and he knows that the Blaugrana don’t intend to exercise it.

In fact, Barca don’t want to pay a fee and that’s the only way the 44-year-old can arrive at the Camp Nou.

De Zerbi, for his part, won’t make a move until it’s made clear to him that he’s the chosen one, and that hasn’t happened yet.

Even if Barca decide to bet on the Italian, the Premier League side are unlikely to let him leave for free.