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Roberto De Zerbi to leave Brighton after season finale

Roberto De Zerbi, the Italian who has become one of the most wanted bosses in European football, is to leave Premier League side Brighton in amicable fashion after the season-ending clash with Manchester United.

De Zerbi joined Albion in September 2022 after Graham Potter left for Chelsea and enjoyed immediate success, taking the club to their highest-ever top-flight finish of sixth.

That secured a campaign in this season's Europa League and saw De Zerbi linked with a number of high-profile jobs.

Brighton and De Zerbi made the last 16 of the Europa League, while they sit 10th in the Premier League with a game to go.

"I am very sad to be leaving Brighton, but I am very proud of what my players and staff have achieved with the support of everyone at the club and our amazing fans in the past two historical seasons," De Zerbi said in a statement on Saturday on the eve of the United finale.

"We have agreed to end my time at Brighton so that the club and I can continue to work in the way that suits each of us best, following our own ideas and visions, as well as our work and human values.

"I have really enjoyed an intense and challenging two years working in the Premier League, not least competing in four major competitions this season. Leaving now provides me with time to take a break before deciding on my future plans."

While the news may come as a shock to some, there has been considerable speculation about the 44-year-old's future for some time.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom said that the parting of ways was a mutual one.

"Roberto has given us two excellent seasons of service in which he has led the club to new heights, not least our first ever European campaign which will live long in the memory of Albion fans," he said.

"We have mutually agreed to end Roberto's contract at a time that suits both parties allowing us the earliest opportunity to plan for next season, and Roberto plenty of time to consider his next move and his future.

"I am sure our fans will give Roberto and his staff a wonderful and fully deserved send off at the Amex before, during and after tomorrow's match.

"In the meantime, I'd like to thank Roberto and his staff for all their hard work in the past two seasons. They all leave our club on good terms and with our very best wishes for the future."