Man Utd 'told' cost of Roberto De Zerbi appointment as Brighton boss confirms future plans

Erik ten Hag's future at Manchester United remains uncertain amid another poor run of form.

Brighton would command a significant compensation fee for their manager Roberto De Zerbi amid ongoing links with Manchester United, according to reports.

De Zerbi has attracted plenty of interest since making the move from Sassuolo to Brighton in September 2022. The Italian led his side to sixth in the Premier League last season, securing a first ever European finish while playing some of the most exciting and tactically-advanced football in the country.

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Form has been patchy this season but that has not deterred the likes of Liverpool and Barcelona, who are both on the hunt for a new manager in the summer. United may join them, with speculation over the future of Erik ten Hag intensifying, but The Mirror reports that a move for De Zerbi could cost £12.8million.

The 44-year-old is under contract at the AMEX until 2026 and so an early parting of ways would need to benefit Brighton, who have built a reputation as stern negotiators. They got £21.5m from Chelsea for De Zerbi's predecessor, Graham Potter, and have often come out of player transfers with tens of millions.

De Zerbi recently admitted it was an 'honour' to be linked with Europe's top clubs but insisted he was happy at Brighton, who currently sit ninth in the Premier League. The Seagulls face Serie A giants Roma in their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday and speaking earlier this week, the Seagulls boss revealed he would like to return home in the future.

"I do what makes me happy and right now I am happy where I am," he told reporters. "It makes me happy when we win but also when we lose. One day I will return to Italy but I don’t know when that day will come."

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Ten Hag's future is expected to become clearer at the end of the season, once United's final Premier League finish is confirmed. New co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is thought to be demanding qualification for next season's Champions League and victory in the FA Cup, albeit both seem unlikely.

United face Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals later this month while consecutive league defeats against Fulham and Manchester City has seen them fall 11 points behind Aston Villa in fourth and six behind Tottenham in fifth. They host relegation candidates Everton and Sheffield United next.

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