Pep Guardiola has expressed admiration for Brighton head coach De Zerbi, suggesting he could be Manchester City’s future manager. De Zerbi has been in charge of Brighton for 13 months, succeeding Graham Potter and leading the team to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last season, earning them European football for the first time in the club’s history. Under De Zerbi’s guidance, Brighton has become known for its attractive style of play, even as several key players left the squad.
According to The Telegraph, after a match at the Amex Stadium in May, Guardiola spoke highly of some Brighton players and pointed towards De Zerbi, remarking, ‘that’s the next Man City manager.’ City’s hierarchy reportedly holds great admiration for De Zerbi, although they have not ruled out the possibility of extending Guardiola’s contract, which expires in the summer of 2025.
Guardiola reiterated his respect for De Zerbi and his unique style of play ahead of City’s Premier League match against Brighton. He praised De Zerbi for demonstrating that a team can play attractive football without being at a top-tier club or having top-quality players. Guardiola described De Zerbi’s approach as somewhat counter-cultural and stated that he enjoys watching De Zerbi’s teams play, learning from their style.
Guardiola acknowledged that De Zerbi’s teams may not always win but emphasized that the way they play makes sense. He pointed out that even when De Zerbi’s teams face challenging opponents, they maintain their distinctive style of play. Guardiola anticipates that the upcoming match against Brighton will be a tough test for Manchester City and looks forward to the encounter.