De Zerbi’s Compensation Fee Rules Out Serie A Return

Once one of the hottest managerial prospects in Serie A, Roberto De Zerbi is on the precipice of a season-long sabbatical. After agreeing to leave Brighton & Hove Albion by mutual consent, the 44-year-old is a free agent, but there’s not exactly a tug-of-war for his services. 

Among the blocking points is a hefty compensation fee clubs would have to pay the Amex outfit to sign the Italian. According to Fabrizio Romano, that figure has dropped to €10 million after amicable separation. 

While that’s a markdown on his €15m release clause in East Sussex, it’s still a significant sum, especially for Serie A teams. And it could be part of the reason behind Milan’s decision to go after Paulo Fonseca to replace Stefano Pioli.

Meanwhile, De Zerbi hasn’t closed the door to a potential return to Serie A. However, Italian clubs that could afford his transfer fee and wages are well-covered in the dugout. Indeed, Napoli and Juventus have opted for Antonio Conte and Thiago Motta, respectively.  

Since he’s unlikely to land a job in Serie A this summer, De Zerbi may have to settle for a one-year hiatus from management. As confessed by the man himself, his ambition is to coach in the Premier League again.

I’d love to work in the Premier League again one day,” De Zerbi stated.

For now, the Serie A doors remain shut. But there’s an outside chance for the ex-Sassuolo boss to stay in England amid a managerial carousel on the island. 

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