Manchester United and Juventus are eyeing up Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi should the clubs opt to replace their current managers, and Brighton have identified his successor, TEAMtalk can reveal.
De Zerbi has been hugely impressive since joining Brighton and was the first man to lead them into a European competition last season. As expected, when a coach shows his best attributes, other clubs begin to take notice and several top sides have now listed the Italian as a future manager.
Manchester United and Juventus are both looking at the Seagulls’ boss as a potential replacement should they need to fill the position for next season. There is uncertainty at both clubs and there is a possibility that the respective hierarchies could make substantial changes.
Brighton have already begun the process of shortlisting names to replace their current manager and one name in particular could see a double deal happen for new United part owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Francesco Farioli is the current coach of his Ligue 1 side Nice and high on the shortlist of potential De Zerbi replacements.
The Italian has been highly impressive since arriving in France and has taken his side into a title race with them sitting second in Ligue 1. His expressive style, similar to De Zerbi, is one of the major factors in his favour with the Seagulls decision makers.
He was handed the manager position at Fatih Karagumruk in the Turkish Super Lig aged just 31 and was looked at by Rangers and Porto in recent years but landed in France after an impressive spell in Turkey.
Man Utd board put faith in Ten Hag
The Man Utd board are backing current manager Erik ten Hag and, despite being all but out of the Champions League and blowing hot and cold domestically, they have no plans to sack the Dutchman anytime soon.
However, should the club be out of the Champions League positions by the end of the campaign and have not picked up a domestic trophy, there is a high chance that Ratcliffe will move to change the man in charge at Old Trafford.
This would see them sound out De Zerbi, who is coming into the final two years of his deal and, if successful, Brighton would have to find their own replacement. If they move for Farioli they will have to go through Ratcliffe, meaning that the Italian managing Nice could be used as a makeweight for United to bring in one of their top choices.
The merry-go-round of managers is looking likely to be spinning by the end of the season and one of the stories of next summer could be the battle for De Zerbi and Brighton’s hunt for their next manager.