De Zerbi to hold further talks with Brighton after defeat at Liverpool

De Zerbi to hold further talks with Brighton after defeat at Liverpool

Roberto De Zerbi says he will hold further talks with Brighton before deciding whether to leave the club at the end of the season amid links to the Liverpool manager’s role.

The Italian was in the away dugout at Anfield on Sunday to watch his Brighton side lose 2-1 against Liverpool. But with Jürgen Klopp to leave Anfield in the summer, and Xabi Alonso ruling himself out as a potential successor, De Zerbi is one of the main candidates, alongside Sporting’s Rúben Amorim, to take over and he has halted contract talks with Brighton.

“I have another two years on my contract,” De Zerbi said. “To work next season at Brighton, I don’t need to extend. At the moment, we finished the discussion about contracts but not because I have decided yet to leave.

“My focus is on Brighton this season and the next season but before we start the next season I would like to speak and listen to the plan for the team – it is a serious thing. I want to know the target and what we are playing for. I have already spoken to Tony [Bloom, the owner] and in the future we will talk again about the plan for next season and then we will find a solution but both the club and myself need to be happy.”

Liverpool conceded within two minutes when Danny Welbeck fired home but turned things around through Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah to secure victory. Klopp’s side are 32 matches unbeaten at home which could be significant if they are to end his reign with a Premier League title.

“I loved the atmosphere today,” Klopp said. “As a unit, we have to get through this – we decide if we enjoy it or not. It will be tough and sometimes it is nerve-racking, our heart rates will be at 180, 200 sometimes but if we are all together, we enjoy it, we have a chance. If we don’t, we still have a chance but it will be a lot more difficult.

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“We have to stay positive in all these moments. It is a great situation the boys have put us in. We are up there with two other teams fighting for the biggest prize in English football. We will see how it ends up but I’ve decided to really enjoy it.”