Albion last night kicked off plans for the new season – by agreeing a dream move for a Switzerland under-21 midfielder.

The Seagulls are set to snap up Nzuzi Toko on a free transfer on July 1 when his current contract at Swiss side Grasshoppers expires.

But fans are still waiting to learn who will be in charge of the new boy and his colleagues next term.

Toko, 23, made 122 starts for Grasshoppers and scored seven goals having progressed through the youth ranks.

He joined their football school in 2003 after his family moved to Zurich from Kinshasa when he was just four years old.

Toko turned down the chance to join youth set-ups in Germany and France as a schoolboy.

But, speaking during his time in Zurich, he admitted: “It’s a dream to play abroad.

“I’ve got that ambition but each day I try to do my work. If I do that well, everything else will come.”

Toko made three friendly appearances for DR Congo before opting to play international football for Switzerland.

He has appeared nine times for the Swiss under-21s.

The Seagulls’ interest in Toko was first revealed in The Argus last Thursday.

Albion chairman Tony Bloom said: “We concluded a deal to sign Toko before their season and ours had ended.

“Now that Toko has completed the season with Grasshopper Zurich we are delighted to welcome him to Brighton and Hove Albion.”

Toko helped Grasshoppers to their first Super League title for ten years in 2012-13.

They followed that with runners-up spot behind Basle in the season which finished at the weekend.

Tim Sherwood last night remained favourite to become Albion’s new boss.

Chris Hughton could also be a contender. It is thought West Brom’s interest in the former Birmingham and Norwich boss has cooled somewhat since they were close to hiring him this time last year.