There’s a bit from behind the scenes you won’t have seen from the latest Roberto De Zerbi press conference.

You know? Those serious, pre-match occasions where, according to some interpretations, the head coach doesn’t look happy or it feels like something has changed.

There was a particularly sparse media gathering last Saturday afternoon as we previewed the following day’s game at Bramall Lane.

As a result, it felt quite relaxed.

When the cameras rolled and a TV reporter prepared to ask the first question, De Zerbi broke into a smile.

“So you enjoyed with Andrea, huh?” he asked.

He was referring to the previous week’s press conference, when Andrea Maldera stepped in and gave a stellar performance.

“Andrea is calmer than me,” De Zerbi continued with a broad grin.

“Always smiles, huh? Andrea is crucial, he’s a top guy.

“With the normal position in my head, the madness, he’s the balance for me!”

It was an unexpected, light-hearted moment instigated by De Zerbi, who was in cheery, chatty mood.

If you watch the press conference back on YouTube or the Albion app, you’ll see the remnants of that smile while the first question is asked.

Then he starts his reply and it looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders again.

We don’t see much of De Zerbi with his guard down.

Which is fine. Football is serious business.

But, amid all the guesswork, we are occasionally given a few insights into how much he is enjoying his challenge here and how he is immersing himself in Brighton life.

One obvious example of the latter was his walk around the city on the morning of the Ajax game. It wasn't a one-off.

There are others. We hear snippets and stories which portray a cheery mood around the training complex.

Then there’s Maldera, telling us England and the Premier League are perfect both for him and De Zerbi.

And then there’s the speculation of him attracting interest from other clubs - and then being shot down by similar sources a day or two later.

Barcelona? He has been described as “el elegido” in their local media for when Xavi leaves. The chosen one.

His agents reportedly met with Barcelona sporting director Deco. But they are also the agents for defender Ronald Araujo, for whom they are negotiating a contract extension.

Sport, a daily tabloid based in Barcelona, said this week club president Joan Laporta had asked for more scouting reports on De Zerbi.

But hold on. Wasn’t he already the chosen one?

El elegido. Words like this get thrown around casually in some parts of the Spanish media.

There is a more scattergun approach even than we sometimes see here.

The city of Barcelona has two competing sports dailies plus various other outlets in mainstream and social media.

Some have cut staff since Covid and those left have less time to research stories while under more pressure produce them.

Barça content sells. And fills several pages a day.

So stories fly around like Yves Bissouma 25-yarders.

Occasionally one will hit the target in spectacular fashion, often they will be wayward.

But they keep on coming regardless.

A well-informed Argus contact in Catalonia believes Barcelona could not afford to get De Zerbi out of Albion anyway.

Liverpool? He has the charisma for a top job but there is more talk about Xabi Alonso.

Italy? One day, as he has said so himself.

Brighton? The story of this season is a long way from being written.

What we know is Albion is a perfect place for De Zerbi to show his coaching skills and he is a long way from doing all he can here.

Maybe he will not always get all he wants from his chairman but he appears on board with the overall philosophy.

We also know whatever happens in the coming weeks, Tony Bloom will not see it as the end of the story.

He will push for more next term – aim higher with a club which is stronger.

In the weeks to come, De Zerbi will be asked questions which are hard to answer and from which any response will be open to whatever interpretation you want to give it.

Bayern, Barcelona, Liverpool, Lazio, Milan, Roma, maybe Leverkusen.

There is so much uncertainty about managers and head coaches across Europe this year, it is inevitable De Zerbi’s name will crop up.

He revealed himself contract talks with Albion were under way a few weeks ago.

We can’t know for sure but it feels like he is enjoying the challenge here – even if it doesn’t always look like it.