According to a report out of Spain, Laporta and Deco are both in agreement over this candidate and are ready to hire him should the circumstances be right.

According to a report out of Spain , La Liga giants Barcelona have identified their no.1 candidate to replace Xavi Hernadez as manager this summer. That man currently resides in the Premier League and no, it is neither Pep Guardiola nor Mikel Arteta.

It is none other than Roberto de Zerbi, the highly-rated tactician who has led Brighton to European football for the first time in the club's history.

According to AS, the Italian manager has been given the green light by everyone at Barcelona, including the two most important figures at the club: president Joan Laporta and sporting director Decco.

AS writes that Deco has already spoken to De Zerbi's representatives. The Brighton manager shares an agent with Ronald Araujo and while the purpose of that meeting was to lay the groundwork for Araujo's renewal, the possibility of bringing the Italian to Catalonia was discussed.

However, there is one obstacle facing the Spanish giants. De Zerbi has a release clause in his contract estimated to be worth roughly 10 million euros. Given that he is under contract until 2026, Brighton are unlikely to budge on that figure. Despite this, the Blaugrana were clear about one thing: they will come for the Premier League manager if they find a solution to that hurdle. 

The Catalan outfit believe De Zerbi fits the club's identity. Additionally, the 44-year-old has shown tremendous faith in and a willingness to work with youth, which is a huge bonus, given the number of talented youngsters at Barcelona.

It should be noted that the Italian is not the only candidate. Hansi Flick is also high on their wishlist. However, Laporta and Co. are short on options. Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Real Sociedad's Imanol Alguacil have both ruled out the possibility of moving. Additionally, The club have decided against the inexperienced Rafa Márquez and Thiago Motta.