Roberto De Zerbi quitting Brighton could have massive impact on Man Utd and Chelsea

Roberto De Zerbi is leaving Brighton. (Image: Getty)

Roberto De Zerbi is set to join the pool of available managers amid an array of high-profile vacancies after Brighton and Hove Albion confirmed his imminent exit this afternoon. The Italian’s fresh availability could directly impact Chelsea and Manchester United’s plans, with both clubs potentially on the hunt for a new face in the dugout.

Mauricio Pochettino has somewhat salvaged his maiden season as Chelsea boss, which looked destined for disaster after February’s Carabao Cup final defeat.

He has overseen four consecutive Premier League wins to take the Blues to the brink of a sixth-place finish, which would seal Europa League qualification.

But the Argentine’s future is by no means clear, and if discussions with Chelsea don’t go as planned, he could be sent packing from Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag has endured a nightmare second campaign at United, who are at risk of suffering their lowest-ever Premier League finish in eighth.

That would also cost the club European football next season unless they can book a Europa League spot by producing a shock triumph against Manchester City in a repeat of last year’s FA Cup final.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have sparked sweeping changes off the pitch in the opening few months of their rule over football operations at Old Trafford.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports

Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino’s futures are unclear. (Image: Getty)

And continued failings on the pitch have brought Ten Hag’s future under intense scrutiny. De Zerbi has been among the several coaches linked with replacing him.

His sudden availability could work in two ways for Pochettino and Ten Hag. Chelsea and United suddenly have an exciting coach on the table for whom they wouldn’t need to pay compensation.

That may give both clubs an excuse to make a fresh start this summer and approach De Zerbi. However, it might not be long before the 44-year-old is out of bounds again.

According to BILD, he is Bayern Munich sporting director Max Eberl’s new priority option to replace Thomas Tuchel at the Allianz Arena this summer.

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In February, Bayern announced that Tuchel would be leaving at the end of the season but recently held talks with the ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea boss over a potential U-turn.

Those discussions failed to produce an agreement, though, prolonging the Bundesliga giants’ search for a successor after unsuccessful approaches for Xabi Alonso, Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Rangnick.

De Zerbi moving the Bavaria would come as a significant boost for Pochettino and Ten Hag’s hopes of continuing their projects into next season.

But the outgoing Brighton coach has claimed he will take a break before deciding his next steps, likely in anticipation of more than one offer.