Brighton and Hove Albion are set to open talks over a new contract for an integral key figure at The Amex, according to a reliable journalist.
Brighton’s season so far
The Seagulls have made an overall positive start to the new campaign having won six, drawn four and lost just three of their opening 13 games, although their defensive set-up has left something to be desired in the Premier League.
The Amex outfit are not far outside the top six, and while a lot of the praise for the high standard of performances will go to the squad and the recruitment set-up upstairs, it’s easy to forget how much hard work the manager puts in. Back in September 2022, Roberto De Zerbi was appointed on the south coast, and he’s since taken charge of 58 games across all competitions (Transfermarkt – De Zerbi statistics), with supporters having quickly taken a shine to him.
The Italian still has just under three years remaining on his contract which includes a £10m release clause, but having recently attracted interest from Real Madrid and Napoli, the hierarchy are taking action to try and retain the services of the 44-year-old.
Brighton to enter discussions with De Zerbi
Taking to X, Graeme Bailey revealed that Brighton will open talks with De Zerbi to see whether he is willing to extend his current contract in order to fend off attention from his two admirers overseas.
“Brighton are ready to open new contract talks with manager Roberto De Zerbi that would seek to alter a release clause in his current deal amid interest from European heavyweights Real Madrid and Napoli.”
De Zerbi has been “influential” since joining
Despite having only been at Brighton for just over a year, De Zerbi has completely transformed the squad and has got them playing at a consistently high standard which can be seen in his track record over the course of his time at The Amex.
The Brescia native has won 28, drawn 12 and lost 18 of his 58 matches in the dugout, averaging 1.66 points per match and taking a total of 96 points out of a possible 174, though the top-flight isn’t the only competition that his side have been excelling in given what they recently achieved under the lights.
The Seagulls coach, who has a preferred formation of 4-2-3-1, led his side to Europa League qualification last season which is the first time in the club’s history, and just the other night, they successfully secured their place in the knockout stage.
According to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, De Zerbi is one of the most “influential” managers in the industry as it stands which is high praise coming from someone as respected as he is, so it would be a huge boost if chiefs were able to extend his stay and prevent him from leaving Brighton.