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Roberto De Zerbi to leave Brighton at end of Premier League season

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Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is to leave the club after Sunday's season-ending clash with Manchester United.

The Italian 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.

"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.

Asked in March about his position and the prospect of signing a new deal, he said: "We didn't find the agreement. The contract is a part of the future. It's important for me, it's important for everyone but it's a small part, the big part is the plan. We have to speak with the club."

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."

Andrea Maldera, Ricard Segarra, Marcattilio Marcattilii, Vincenzo Teresa, Agostino Tibaudi, Marcello Quinto and Enrico Venturelli will also leave after Sunday's final Premier League game.

Coaches Andrew Crofts and Jack Stern will remain with the club.

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna would be a name of interest to Brighton owner Tony Bloom as he looks to replace De ­­Zerbi this summer.

His coaching style and success at Ipswich has been catching the eye for a number of Premier League clubs, Brighton being one of them.

McKenna has attracted increasing attention as he has led Ipswich from League One to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions, ending their 22-year absence from the top flight in the process.

A former coach at Tottenham and Manchester United, McKenna, 38, took over at Portman Road in December 2021 when Ipswich were 12th in League One.

In his first full season, 2022/23, McKenna steered Ipswich to a second-placed finish in League One.

They followed that up by finishing as runners-up to Leicester in the Championship this season with McKenna's achievements earning him the division's manager of the year award.

McKenna is currently contracted to Ipswich until 2027 after signing a new four-year deal in June 2023.

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