is desperate to nail down its future head coach in anticipation of Xavi's departure at the end of the season. And Brighton's remains high on the list. But can the Blaugrana seal the deal for the Italian boss?

According to Spanish publication Relevo, Barca sporting director Deco met with De Zerbi's representatives in Catalonia on Wednesday. As transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano mentioned last year when Tottenham was looking for a new hire, De Zerbi has a substantial release clause built into his contract with the Seagulls. 

According to reports, that number is €13 – €20 million, a substantial value for an up-and-comer Brighton.  

Romano also recently touted the 44-year-old De Zerbi as an ideal candidate for the Barcelona head coaching position. 

“In my opinion Roberto De Zerbi would be fantastic for the position, but it's also very difficult to get him due to the release clause written into his contract,” Romano told CaughtOffside

Of course, it helps that Xavi is willing to forego any compensation package in his self-termination. Barcelona can use that money to hire one of the hottest coaches in Europe in De Zerbi. 

Barcelona's board is a big fan of the “Pep Guardiola” approved Italian, who single-handedly revived loan player 's career on the southern coast. 20-year-old Fati could return to the Blaugrana to pair alongside another starlet, , if De Zerbi heads to Catalonia next season. 

Barca fans foresee De Zerbi's tactical style and youth-inspired system as a boon for the 3rd-placed La Liga club, looking for a return to league predominance and Champions League glory. 

Barcelona might have to expedite negotiations with De Zerbi's entourage, as Manchester United, Chelsea, and Real Madrid could also be hunting for a new coach at the end of the season.  

Photo: x/fcbronit