Vermeeren, 18, is regarded as one of Belgium’s biggest talents in years and he has been linked with several top clubs since breaking into the Antwerp first-team in the second-half of last season.
He now has Champions League experience after featuring in all six of Antwerp’s group stage games this campaign, providing two assists against Shakhtar Donetsk and scoring once against Barcelona.
The Blaugrana are one of many teams monitoring Vermeeren’s progress in Belgium, with Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool among the Premier League giants keen on landing him.
However, the 18-year-old has been told to join a different English top flight club instead.
Arthur Vermeeren urged to reject Chelsea and Man Utd for Brighton
Former Sheffield United forward Marc Degryse spoke to Het Laatste Nieuws (as per Sussex Express) and admitted: “What Vermeeren is especially not allowed to do is go to a club like Chelsea or Manchester United, where they buy thirty or forty players and then loan you out.
“What they do is gamble. You don’t give confidence to a player like that.”
His comments were echoed by ex-Burnley midfielder Steven Defour, who revealed that he believes Vermeeren should join Brighton & Hove Albion instead.
“Chelsea is too volatile. Those types of clubs simply put a player worth €30m in the stands,” Defour said. He was then asked if Vermeeren should sign for Brighton or Man Utd. He simply replied: “Brighton! Brighton!”
The Seagulls sold Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo to Liverpool and Chelsea respectively last summer, earning a cool €158 million from the pair.
This season, Roberto De Zerbi has mostly used Pascal Gross and Billy Gilmour as his midfield pivot, although new arrival Carlos Baleba has also featured in this role.