Roberto De Zerbi hopes European football will keep Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister at Brighton

Roberto De Zerbi hopes European football will keep Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister at Brighton

Robert De Zerbi hopes that Brighton securing European football for next season will help them keep hold of their first-team stars this summer.

Victory over Southampton on Sunday ensured the Seagulls will be involved in European competition for the first time, and they need just one point from their final two Premier League matches to confirm that will be in the Europa League.

Brighton sold Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma and Neal Maupay ahead of this season, while Leandro Trossard made the move to Arsenal mid-season, and it is likely to be another transfer window in the summer where many of the club’s players are highly sought-after.

Arsenal remain interested in Moises Caicedo, who they tried to sign in January, and Alexis Mac Allister has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool, as they look to revamp their midfield after a disappointing season.

Speaking ahead of his side’s clash against newly-crowned champions Manchester City, the Brighton boss admitted he cannot guarantee that the players will stay at the club, but believes being able to offer European football is a significant advantage.

“We can offer Moises and Alexis the opportunity to play in Europe,” the Brighton boss told reporters.

“Our level is bigger now. They are very good guys and it will help. I think for myself and the club but also for the players - they have one life and we can’t decide for them.”

Levi Colwill, on loan from Chelsea, has impressed at Brighton this season, with De Zerbi regularly talking up the 20-year-old and stating he wants to work with him for “another two, three, four years”.

Incoming Blues manager Mauricio Pochettini is set to make a decision on Colwill’s future at Stamford Bridge, with Brighton keen to extend his stay should the opportunity arise.

“I hope Levi can play with us next year, but it’s the decision of Chelsea,” De Zerbi said.

“We have to be ready to change some players but he’s a top player for us.”