Europe’s elite circle Brighton as Seagulls battle to keep De Zerbi at the helm

Ciaran McCarthy
Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton, February 2023

Brighton run the risk of seeing yet another crucial asset leave the club, this time manager Roberto De Zerbi, as a number of top European clubs are keen on taking him on board.

The Seagulls have become a feeder club for big sides in recent times. Ben White left for Arsenal last season in what was the only big outgoing.

However, this season they’ve lost Marc Cucurella – who only joined the season prior – Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard. all three of those men were star players and each went to ‘big-six’ clubs: Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, respectively.

Brighton also allowed Chelsea to speak to former manager Graham Potter and he left to take up their vacant manager’s job in September.

The Englishman had transformed the fortunes of Brighton, along with the quality options in the squad. After finishing 15th and 16th in 2019/20 and 2020/21, he inspired them to a ninth-placed finish last term.

And after appointing De Zerbi to replace him, Brighton have continued their good form. They’re currently seventh in the league and seven points behind fourth place.

However, the consequence of that good form is that big sides may come circling.

The Telegraph reports there are some big names that might be interested in hiring De Zerbi. That report mentions how Tottenham have been linked, in the event that Antonio Conte leaves the club.

There also seems to be big interest in from Serie A. ‘Sources in Italy’ reportedly believe that any of Roma, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus could be forced to change managers in the summer.

And De Zerbi would be considered ‘by all four clubs’. Not only is that an indictment of the good work he has done at Brighton but also in previous spells in Serie A.

The report suggests he ‘impressed’ with Benevento and Sassuolo before he moved to Shakhtar Donetsk, where he won the Ukrainian Super Cup.

While Brighton’s recruitment for both players and managers is seemingly very good, they won’t want to lose De Zerbi. They’re clearly on an upwards trajectory and could break into the upper echelons of the league soon.

Keeping the manager at the club seems to be the best chance of that happening.

READ MORE: ‘At Brighton for now’: Star’s father hints at potential for ‘important transfer’ that could benefit club