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De Zerbi brushes off exit talk and insists he is focused on Brighton

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Roberto De Zerbi says he is focused on Brighton’s season run-in and not his own future.

The Italian was this morning linked with a summer switch to Bayern Munich – The Times claims he is on the German giants’ three-man shortlist along with former boss Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick.

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De Zerbi suggested prior to Sunday’s defeat to Liverpool that he did not share Brighton’s vision, increasing speculation he was set to leave, but speaking before tomorrow night’s trip to Brentford, he insisted he was still happy at the Amex.

“At this moment you are asking me a lot of times if I am leaving but I am still proud to be coach at Brighton,” he said.

“I know I am really lucky to work with these players, to work with this club. I’d like to compete with a full squad but I try to play with the players available and I think they are enough.”

Brighton are ninth in the Premier League and still in with a shout of qualifying for European competition again next season.

De Zerbi added of the speculation: “It’s not a problem, it’s a part of my work. At the moment I want to be focused and to keep my eyes on the target we have. I have the contract at the moment. The focus is on the pitch.

“I’m very relaxed and without problems. The problems are the injured players and the preparations for the next game. These are the problems, not the contract or my future.”

Brighton continue to battle a lengthy injury list with De Zerbi confirming Jack Hinshelwood will miss the rest of the season, although there was better news on a couple of potential returnees.

He said: “We have a lot of injured players but we have still a great team.

“Joao Pedro played in an Under-21s friendly on Saturday and did well. He can play tomorrow but it’s not clear for how many minutes.

“[Julio] Enciso is similar.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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