De Zerbi to leave Brighton? Journalist hints Seagulls boss is contender to join European giants

Jason Soutar
Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly a managerial target for Real Madrid.
Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly a managerial target for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid are interested in appointing Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi at the end of the season, according to reports in Spain.

De Zerbi joined the Seagulls last September and has done an incredible job at the Amex, eclipsing the great work of his predecessor Graham Potter.

The Italian head coach was comically written off by former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness before he managed a Premier League match.

The grumpy Scot insisted that De Zerbi “doesn’t know Our League” and we will never let him forget it.

Having got Brighton into Europe for the first time in their history, De Zerbi has received a lot of praise and is reportedly attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in world football.

According to Spanish outlet Cadena Ser, De Zerbi is being considered by Real Madrid, whose current boss Carlo Ancelotti is expected to depart when his contract expires in 2024.

With Ancelotti likely to take on the Brazil job, Los Blancos are also looking at Bayer Leverkusen boss and the club’s former midfielder, Xabi Alonso.

OPINION: The Treble in 2025/26 in the offing for an untouched Brighton under De Zerbi

Alonso has done a tremendous job in Germany and with his ties to the Madrid outfit, he is naturally the leading contender.

No decision has been made in the Spanish capital but De Zerbi and Alonso are two of the names under consideration.

Journalist Jesus Gallego says De Zerbi has caught the attention of the Real bosses after ‘managing to lift’ Brighton with their ‘very colourful game’.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk boss is seen as one of ‘the big names’ who has what it takes to replace Ancelotti.

Given the incredible job De Zerbi has done with Brighton, it is no surprise to see him linked with an exit.

After sacking Antonio Conte, Tottenham were believed to be interested in appointing the Italian.

Napoli were also linked with the 44-year-old, who admitted he would be tempted to return to manage in Serie A one day.

“I’d like to do it, even if I don’t know when,” he said. “But in a few years because this job is tough. My goal is to come back, even if it’s not a necessity because I want to have fun.”

On the comparison between managing in Italy and England, De Zerbi added: “We need to understand what we’re talking about. The Premier League can buy anyone but on a tactical level we are perhaps a little more strategist.”

De Zerbi’s Brighton contract expires in the summer of 2026.

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