CM: Milan, Bayern or a Premier League stay – the various options for De Zerbi

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have again been mentioned as a possible destination for Roberto De Zerbi, but a number of clubs are admirers of his work too. have provided an update on De Zerbi starting by citing Bild in Germany, who claim that in recent weeks there have been direct contacts between Bayern Munich – who will need to replace the departing Thomas Tuchel – and the Brighton boss.

The Italian of the names held most in the highest esteem together with that of Xabi Alonso, who is contract to Bayer Leverkusen until June 2026 and remains the top option but is also being courted by Liverpool.

On the De Zerbi front, the last official position taken by the manager concerned was at the beginning of March, on the eve of the round of 16 match of the Europa League against Roma.

“It’s not true that I’m thinking about Italy, it’s my country but I do what I like and what makes me happy is staying at Brighton,” he said.

“I’m lucky enough to have a team that allows me to play these competitions, it gives me satisfaction but even when we lose I find good things from the players I coach. Later, I don’t know when, I will return to Italy but there is no pre-established reason.”

It was a response resulting from speculation in recent months on De Zerbi’s candidacy from a Milan perspective in the event that the Rossoneri decide to sack Stefano Pioli a year before the natural expiry of the contract.

De Zerbi has never hidden his deep bond with Milan given that he came through the youth sector there, but at the same time he has a feeling of profound gratitude for Brighton, to whom he is contracted until 2026 with a €15m release clause valid.

The ex-Sassuolo boss has led the Seagulls into a European competition for the first time but he is willing to change clubs if the right one comes along, which Bayern Munich obviously would be.

The idea of coaching a top Premier League side appeals to De Zerbi too, such as Liverpool who are preparing for the post-Klopp era, Chelsea who are seriously evaluating the position of Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester United who haven’t decided on Erik ten Hag yet.


Tags AC Milan Roberto De Zerbi


  1. Time will tell how good he is, but so far he has been overrated. He had a good season with Brighton in 2022-23, but anyone could do that with the likes of Mac Allister, Caicedo etc. This season Brighton is bad, and the defense is leaking a lot.

    1. He finished 6th last season, he is currently 8th after loosing his 2 best players over the summer.
      You are talking about Mac Allister and Caicedo like they are prime Modric and Casemiro. No one knew who they were before last season.
      And coaches with much better squads and better players than Mac Callister and Caicedo finished last season behind Brighton and a coach that has Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez is currently behind Brighton on the table. So no, not everyone can do that with the likes of Mac Calister and Caicedo and especially not in the best league in the world.

      1. Not everyone, but anyone though. Mac Allister was a mildfield engine for Argentina at World Cup. Caicedo at Brighton was almost the same level as Rodri. Hence the hefty price paid for him. Klop wanted him at Liverpool though he chose Chelsea. They were not middle-quality players. Brighton had other good players too.

        1. If anyone can do it why is Chelsea with Caicedo behind De Zerbi’s Brighton on the table?
          And as I said, before last season, when the world cup happened, no one knew who Mac Callister was.
          Caicedo being on the same level as Rodri, according to you, playing for De Zerbi, doesn’t that make De Zerbi a very good coach? Because Caicedo sure doesn’t look like Rodri playing for Pochetino. He looks like Pobega without De Zerbi.
          Brighton isn’t bad this season as you said. They lost their 2 best players from last season and their best player this season Mitoma got injured.
          Being 8th in the EPL, with the squad he had is a very good accomplishment.
          He is coaching Brighton not Chelsea or ManUtd, so I don’t know how being 8th is a bad season.

          1. Chelsea are in crisis not due to the coach, but for other, complex reasons. Pocchetino said in the media that they bought players he did not want.
            Watch some matches of Brighton, see how they play, then tell me if they look like being trained from a great coach.

          2. As for Caicedo, he was a top player last season. His dumb mistake was to choose Chelsea, currently a career-destroyer like Man United, over Klop’s Liverpool. Mac Allister made the right choice and he is having a superb season. He is playing even better than last season.

      2. When I say Brighton are bad this season, I am not talking about their 8th place. That is not bad though not great as well, because Brighton can do better. I am talking about the way how they play, the leaking defense etc

  2. How come these huge clubs want to hire young, inexperienced coaches like Xabi, De Zerbi and Motta who haven’t won anything in their coaching careers?
    How come none of them wants to hire an experienced, seasoned, serial winner of a coach like Pioli?
    De Zerbi and Motta are good enough for Bayern, Juventus, Liverpool, but Pioli fans arr trying to convince us that Milan is better off keeping Pioli because Milan won few games in a row vs some bad teams.

    1. Or because Milan are having a season where they’re integrating a lot of new players whilst doing very well in the league. Even in the Champions League we were fourth favourite in the group in terms of bookmakers and payroll, but had some good performances and stayed in Europe at least. A couple of seasons after winning the league.

      I don’t think Pioli’s perfect but I think this summer there are going to be Bayern, Barcelona and Liverpool, at least, looking for new managers and they’re going to be higher on managers’ priority lists than Milan. With Pioli, I’d trust us to do well next season. With another manager, that’s a gamble whichever way you look at it.

      Are any of the options at the moment worth that gamble? And which could we be guaranteed to land?

      1. Pioli finished 5th last season.
        Was he integrating new players last season too?
        What does doing well next season under Pioli mean?
        Getting trashed by inter in every derby, being 15 – 20 points behind them, but still somehow finishing in top 4 because the rest of the league is garbage?
        Is that a good season?
        You mentioned the UCL group.
        Milan was in a group with the worst PSG since Qatar bought them. Newcastle, who is 10th in the EPL behind Brighton, and Dortmund who are barely clinging on top 4 in the Bundesliga, 20 points behind Leverkusen.
        The group wasn’t as tough as publicized.

        1. And yet both BvB and PSG are still in the competition and stellar Inter isn’t… It was a tough group, and we should have done better in the home fixtures VS NUFC and BvB. Would have been through.

          But We’re still in Europe unlike other Italian clubs. And we’re still second in the league. The team has been clocking far better than at the beginning of the season. If Pioli stays next season, the team will play better simply because most players will have had a season together under their belts.

          But a lot will depend on the Derby and the EL run.

        2. Last season we definitely underperformed in the league, no two ways around that, but did very well in the Champion’s League.

          We’re not in second because “the rest of the league is garbage”, we’re ahead of a Juventus side that is on a higher payroll and has no European commitments – to be fair, a lot of that payroll is injured.

          Inter are well ahead of us at the moment, for sure. But do you think if Inzaghi and Pioli swapped roles we’d be 15-20 points ahead? Of course we wouldn’t. Their success is the result of a long-term plan from Marotta and completely ignoring their financial debts whilst praying for a bailout. They bought two of Milan’s first choice targets last summer by paying more.

          We’re second. We have 19 wins. We have second most goals scored in the league. We’re doing it with some fairly obvious holes in the team and we’ve got a team working hard and playing for each other. I want to see where it goes, rather than have it all ripped up by Conte or gamble on being able to entice Alonso, Motta or de Zerbi away from Bayern, Barca and Liverpool.

          I respect that others have a different view, but I do ask who is the standout candidate that Milan can definitely recruit who will do better?

      2. “Are any of the options at the moment worth that gamble?”

        That is the crux of the issue. With all the vacancies at top clubs with large budgets, there will be few options available that can be considered a proven upgrade to Pioli. Factoring in the lack of alternatives, acceptable results Pioli has achieved, and contract situation (one year left which makes it easier to replace him financially midseason if need be), I would be mildly surprised if he is replaced over the summer.

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