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Hurzeler, 31, leading contender for Brighton job

Fabian Hurzeler smiles
Fabian Hurzeler has been in charge at St Pauli since December 2022 [Getty Images]

Brighton have identified 31-year-old St Pauli boss Fabian Hurzeler as the leading contender to replace Roberto de Zerbi as manager.

The clubs are in talks and Brighton have already secured a work permit for him.

No agreement has yet been reached.

US-born Hurzeler guided St Pauli to the German second division title last season, and a return to the Bundesliga after 13 years.

If he is appointed he would be the youngest manager since the creation of the Premier League in 1992.

Hurzeler is also younger than several of Brighton's senior players, including James Milner, 38, Danny Welbeck, 33, and Lewis Dunk, 32.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom and chief executive Paul Barber have been leading the managerial search, which is now in its final stages.

The club announced on 18 May that Italian De Zerbi would be leaving at the end of the Premier League season.