Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Italian mastermind ‘at the top of Man City list’ to replace Guardiola, as Liverpool and Arsenal learn new opponent

Luciano Spalletti and Roberto de Zerbi

Luciano Spalletti embraces Roberto de Zerbi before Serie A match

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi is emerging as the prime candidate to take over from Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, according to one journalist.

Guardiola has had massive success at City since joining the club in 2016. Under his guidance, City have won one Champions League, five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and two Community Shields.

Guardiola has created one of the best teams the world has ever seen while at the Etihad. Last season, after adding striker Erling Haaland to an already incredible side, the Citizens completed a stunning treble of the Prem, Champions League and FA Cup.

And City are likely to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet this campaign. They have won six out of their seven league games so far, as well as emerging victorious in their opening two Champions League group matches.

However, City will have to start planning for life after Guardiola at some point in the near future, as his contract expires in summer 2025. The Spaniard could follow in the footsteps of rival Jurgen Klopp by agreeing a new contract to remain at City, but the club must have a backup plan in case this does not happen.

City have been linked with an audacious swoop for their former assistant manager Mikel Arteta, who is doing a fantastic job at Arsenal. But during an appearance on TV Play, Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Davide Chinellato has backed City to instead raid Brighton for the hugely impressive De Zerbi.

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“Guardiola’s contract expires at the end of next season, we are not talking about succession but about ideas and understanding what he wants to do for the future,” Chinellato said (via Sport Witness).

“The possible managers for Manchester City are Arteta, it would be an obvious choice except that now he is doing very well with Arsenal and has become a sort of rival.

Roberto de Zerbi a target for Man City – journalist

“The name of De Zerbi is gaining more and more popularity and is considered the new Guardiola in terms of playing style, approach and innovative football. He achieved results by taking Brighton to the best position in their history and going to Europe.

“Among the emerging managers of the Premier League he is at the top of the list and if he confirms himself this year his next step could be in a big club, perhaps even on the City bench.”

Liverpool and Arsenal in particular will be interested to see which manager ends up replacing Guardiola at City, as they have challenged the Manchester club for Prem titles in recent years.

De Zerbi would certainly be a great replacement for Guardiola at City. Last season, he helped Brighton to qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their history, while also getting the Seagulls to play an attacking and exciting brand of football.

But City will have to pay a significant amount of money if they are to make the Italian Guardiola’s successor. On Thursday, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed that Brighton are planning to enter contract talks with De Zerbi in order to extend his deal. And the new contract will also extend his release clause, which is worth £10million.