Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd manager search: Ten Hag replacement still unclear as report states De Zerbi on the cusp of decision

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could be replaced by Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi

Erik ten Hag and Roberto De Zerbi

A report claims manager Roberto De Zerbi is likely to sign a new deal with Brighton, putting an end to speculation he will move to Manchester United.  

The 44-year-old has been a revelation since replacing Graham Potter as Seagulls chief. The Italian has won more than 48 per cent of the games in which he has managed. And he led the Amex Stadium outfit into Europe, with a sixth-place finish giving them a Europa League berth.

Far from being intimidated by playing in Europe, the south-coast outfit have already secured a spot in the knockout round play-offs.

Victory over Marseille in their final Group B clash will ensure safe passage into the knockout stage without the need for a play-off.

They are also sitting just outside the Premier League top six and in good shape to challenge for a European place next term.

De Zerbi’s work has not gone unnoticed. And rumours persist that he is being lined up to replace Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

There have also been links to Real Madrid, with Football Espana suggesting that there has been contact between Los Blancos and the Brighton boss.

Whether that is true is open to debate but Carlo Ancelotti has been tipped to leave next summer.

De Zerbi’s style of play has won him many plaudits and they are generally considered one of the most entertaining Premier League teams.

And that is despite losing the likes of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister during the summer window.

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Leandro Trossard, Yves Bissouma, Marc Cucurella and Neal Maupay are other big-name players to have left. But Brighton keep progressing as a club.

De Zerbi set to remain with Brighton

Ten Hag arrived at Manchester United to much fanfare, lauded for his work with Ajax.

He did win silverware last term when the Red Devils beat Newcastle in the final to claim the EFL Cup.

However, it has been tough for his side this term despite the fact they have won eight of 14 Premier League games.

United have lost five already and are on the brink of exiting the Champions League.

And with just a home clash against Bayern Munich to come, it may be that all European participation is over by the turn of the year.

That would heap further pressure on the Dutch tactician.

De Zerbi is said to be the club’s number one target. But Football Insider are reporting that he is likely to extend his stay with Brighton.

The club is preparing a new contract for the 44-year-old ex-Shakhtar Donetsk coach, who has also been linked with Manchester City.

And it has been suggested he is happy with his present employers and has no plans to leave.

The former midfielder is currently under contract until 2026 but that may all change in the near future.

De Zerbi’s stock is certainly on the rise and he will have another chance to impress when taking his side to face Chelsea on Sunday.

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