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Man Utd and Liverpool target Roberto De Zerbi ‘could be more tempted’ by another job | Football | Sport

Roberto De Zerbi could snub Manchester United and Liverpool to take up another job if he leaves Brighton in the summer, according to Seagulls assistant coach Andrea Maldera. The Italian has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best up-and-coming managers since taking charge of Brighton following Graham Potter’s exit two years ago.

De Zerbi is widely reported to be admired by Liverpool, who are on the hunt for a new manager with Jurgen Klopp set to depart at the end of the season. Xabi Alonso is said to be the Reds’ top choice but De Zerbi has been mentioned among a host of other names in connection with the Anfield job.

United have also been credited with an interest in De Zerbi, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe thought to be evaluating several candidates in the event Erik ten Hag is sacked later this year. However, it seems a move to Napoli could be a more enticing prospect for the Brighton boss if he decides to seek a new challenge next season.

Maldera believes that De Zerbi may struggle to turn Napoli down if they come calling, with the Italian giants ‘among his favourite teams’.

“He is in love with Italy,” said Maldera. “It is his country and Napoli is among his favourite teams. We’re fine at Brighton. We have another two years on our contract, then if a proposal came from Italy, and also from Naples, Roberto would take it into consideration. I don’t know, but why say no to a place like Naples?”

De Zerbi remains tied down to Brighton until the summer of 2026 and has been in talks over an extension but is yet to strike an agreement with the club’s hierarchy. He recently admitted that he would like to return to Italy one day but made it clear that he was not thinking about leaving his current role just yet.

“One day, I will come back to Italy,” said De Zerbi. “I don’t know when, but when I made the choice to go to Shakhtar I did it because I wanted to find a way outside Italy. Without going into too many details, there were some things in Italy I didn’t like. I decided to do something else.

“I don’t see myself as a genius. I don’t think I’m better than others but I’m not scared to work hard and I don’t lack courage. I don’t think of negative consequences. What probably makes a difference is my passion for football. I am lucky to compete with this team at this level.”

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