Brighton are confident of closing a deal to make Roberto De Zerbi their manager after talks with the former Shakhtar Donetsk head coach accelerated on Sunday.
Brighton regard De Zerbi as the ideal replacement for Graham Potter in part because of his style of play and the trust he places in young talent. The Italian joined Shakhtar in May 2021 and won the Ukrainian Super Cup before leaving 14 months later as a result of Russia’s invasion. The club were top of the Ukrainian league when the season was cut short and he has not worked since.
The 43-year-old has also managed a number of Italian clubs, most recently Sassuolo, whom he led to eighth-place finishes in Serie A in 2020 and 2021. His first stint in the top division with Palermo ended swiftly and unsuccessfully and he was unable to keep promoted Benevento in Serie A in 2018.
Potter left Brighton for Chelsea this month and De Zerbi is in line to inherit a team fourth in the Premier League. The club’s first game after the international break is at Liverpool, after which they play at home to Tottenham.