Roberto De Zerbi insists he has no new job lined up after leaving Brighton

The Italian, whose departure by mutual consent was announced on Saturday, has been linked with a host of top European clubs.

De Zerbi cited a difference of vision with Albion owner Tony Bloom as the reason for leaving the Amex Stadium with two years remaining on his contract.

Seagulls chief executive Paul Barber said the process of identifying the 44-year-old’s successor is under way but would not go into detail on names or style of coach.

“I spent the last 24, 48 hours in a strong and a tough way,” said De Zerbi.

“We didn’t find the right agreement to go forward, to stay together.

“Football is my life and I can’t change my passion.

“There isn’t any club – no one offered (anything). At the moment, nothing.

“I leave two years of contract. Maybe I will stay at home two, three, four months – for sure I have nothing (lined up).

“I hope to work in the Premier League again. I don’t know where or when. But it was an honour to work in the Premier League.”

De Zerbi’s history-making tenure began in September 2022 after predecessor Graham Potter joined Chelsea.

He led Brighton to their highest top-flight finish last season – sixth – and an FA Cup semi-final before enjoying a run to the last 16 of the Europa League this term amid a series of injury issues.

The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk coach backed Brighton for further success while chairman Bloom remains at the helm.

“I have to be thankful to Tony Bloom, his family, Paul Barber as well, all of the club because they gave me the chance to work in the Premier League,” said De Zerbi, whose side finished 11th after late goals from Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund earned United victory.

“I put football at the top of my life and I want to keep football at the top of my life.

“This season was very tough but it’s a normal price to pay for a small club like Brighton that play for the first time in European competition.

“Tony Bloom is a great owner and he knows what is best to do for Brighton. His recruitment is top and the future of Brighton will be great while Tony Bloom is owner.

“We had different ideas, yes. But it’s not a problem, it’s a part of life.”

Asked about the recruitment process, Barber said: “We always try and have a plan. We have got a plan. We now need to execute that plan.

“But we wanted to make sure we were totally respectful to Roberto and make sure today for him went as well as it could.

“Obviously the result went against us but the reception he got from the fans and the send-off has been magnificent.

“You don’t find many times in football when relationships come to an end amicably, this is one that has.”

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