Daily Mail reported on Saturday that Brighton has begun to discuss with former Sassuolo head coach Roberto De Zerbi over the possibility of taking over the club’s managerial position.
According to report, Brighton executives have identified De Zerbi as the most suitable candidate to replace Graham Potter.
Potter recently moved to Chelsea, and this news has also been confirmed by renowned Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Romano said that Brighton’s hierarchy has started active negotiations with De Zerbi, and hopes to confirm the Italian coach as the club’s new head coach within these two weeks.
However, the Seagulls is actually not the only club interested in hiring De Zerbi. The report also revealed that the Juventus is also closely monitoring De Zelbi’s latest developments.
Although Massimiliano Allegri is still nominally the Bianconneri‘s head coach, but due to the club’s poor recent results, the patience of Juventus executives towards Allegri has gradually begun to be worn away.
If the performance has not greatly improve, the Serie A giants will not rule out that Allegri will be “sacked” and instead appoint De Zelbi as the new coach.
At the same time, the report also revealed that De Zerbi was also approached by Bologna last week, but however he rejected the club’s offer, Bologna finally chose to hire former Paris Saint-Germain star player Thiago Motta as their new head coach.
In addition, if they fail to appoint De Zerbi, Brighton’s first candidate in line is Bodø/Glimt head coach Kjetil Knutsen.
Knutsen successfully led the defending Eliteserien champions to the a fairytale run in the UEFA Europa League last season, and evenJose Mourinho’s Roma lost to him twice.
With this in mind, Brighton executives have high confidence in the possibility that Knutsen can bring his tactical ideas from Bodø/Glimt to the Amex Community Stadium.
In addition to Knutsen, another person also on the list is Manchester United legend and former head coach “Babyface Assassin” Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
As Solskær had the experience of coaching Cardiff City, a low to mid budget sized club, Brighton might consider giving him the opportunity to coach in England again after leaving Manchester United.
The 43-year-old De Zerbi coached Sassuolo between 2018 and 2021. At that time, his strategy of not pursuing well-established stars, but was still able to lead his team to play beautiful brand of attacking football and finish in 8th place for two consecutive seasons won the praise of many pundits in the industry.
In May 2021, De Zerbi took over as the head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk, and in September of the same year, he led the team to win the Ukrainian Super Cup, becoming the first Italian coach in Ukrainian football history to win this honour.
However, affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, De Zerbi was forced to resign in July 2022 and returned to Italy for asylum. Since then, although there have been many rumours in the media that some clubs want to appoint him as head coach, the rumours have not come true.
According to Brighton’s earlier official statement, during this period, the club’s U21s Welsh head coach Andrew Crofts will temporarily serve as the interim head coach until the new head coach and his assistant coaching team take office.
At the same time, during the period under the leadership of Crofts, former Liverpool and England international midfielder Adam Lallana will also serve as the player-interim assistant coach of this Premier League dark horse.
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