Pep Guardiola’s endorsements of Brighton and Hove Albion manager Roberto de Zerbi have been ‘taken into account’ by Barcelona as they look for Xavi Hernandez’s replacement.

That’s according to Sport, who say Guardiola’s positive words about the Italian ‘should be taken into account’ by those in charge at Camp Nou.

The newspaper explains that there have been countless names linked with the Barcelona job since Xavi announced he would be departing at the end of the season.

Some of those have already been ruled out for various reasons but one who remains on the list is Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi, who continues to impress with the Seagulls.

Sport say that if Pep Guardiola is willing to endorse the Italian coach, then that is a ‘guarantee’ and those in charge at Barcelona, namely Joan Laporta and director of football Deco, ‘should go for him’.

They add that Guardiola’s recent praise, in which he eulogised about the style of football Brighton play and the impact De Zerbi has had on them and the Premier League in general said it all and Barcelona should be listening.

As far as they are concerned De Zerbi’s style is Barca style and if Guardiola has definitively turned down the idea of returning, then the Brighton coach is the obvious second option.

Whether they call their former coach to ask about him and receive another endorsement remains to be seen but as far as they’re concerned, De Zerbi is an obvious option to be looked at.