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Brighton fear De Zerbi could leave this summer amid transfer frustrations

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi could leave the club this summer, according to the Times.

Despite his contract running until 2026, the Italian coach’s recent comments hint at growing frustration, raising concerns he could exit the club at the end of the season.

De Zerbi has been lauded for guiding Brighton to a historic sixth-place finish last season but has publicly contradicted owner Tony Bloom’s transfer strategy. 

The former Sassuolo manager was frustrated by the recent arrival of 19-year-old Valentin Barco as the only January signing. He wanted more reinforcements across different areas of the pitch.

De Zerbi reportedly wanted the club to invest in a deeper squad, particularly after key departures such as Moises Caicedo, Robert Sanchez and Alexis Mac Allister.

Following a demoralising 4-0 defeat in the Europa League against AS Roma, De Zerbi’s comments were interpreted as a veiled message to Bloom as he suggested the club needed to invest more to compete consistently. 

His desire for control and a deeper squad might not align with Brighton’s current transfer approach.

Ahead of the second leg against Roma, De Zerbi emphasised the importance of other things beyond European qualification. Other things in this context are believed to be investments in the transfer market.

Intriguingly, De Zerbi’s contract includes a £11 million termination clause that several clubs could be interested in triggering this summer. 

De Zerbi has been linked to major European clubs such as Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool due to his impressive stints with the Seagulls and unfancied Sassuolo in Serie A.

Brighton are currently eighth in the Premier League despite losing several pivotal players, but De Zerbi’s future remains a pressing question mark. 

The next few months will reveal whether the club can keep De Zerbi r or whether he will leave for one of the European giants interested in appointing him.

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