Roberto de Zerbi looks set to become the new head coach of Marseille. The Italian manager previously took over at Premier League side Brighton in September of 2022. The Seagulls signed De Zerbi after their former coach Graham Potter joined Chelsea. While Potter worked wonders with the South Coast club, the team did not miss a beat with De Zerbi.

With the Italian coach at the helm, Brighton finished sixth in the English top flight following the 2022/23 campaign. The place in the table qualified the club for the Europa League. It was the first time that the Seagulls ever featured in a European competition. Although Brighton did fall to 11th in the most recent season, De Zerbi was forced to deal with a squad decimated by injuries.

Despite his success with the club, De Zerbi previously announced that he would depart Brighton. Transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano is now claiming that the Italian is near an agreement to become Marseille’s new head coach. The French side has supposedly offered the now-former Brighton boss a three-year deal. De Zerbi agrees with the terms of the contract.

Although he did announce his departure from the Premier League side, Marseille reportedly still has to pay Brighton a fee. Romano claims that this particular clause was reduced down to around $6.5 million. The stipulation is seemingly the last step in the move.

Coach was previously linked with a series of top European teams

Due to his successes at Brighton, De Zerbi has seemingly been a wanted man. He was previously linked with massive clubs such as Liverpool and Bayern Munich throughout the spring months. Nevertheless, both teams overlooked the Italian and opted to sign different managers.

Fellow Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester United were then also reportedly interested in De Zerbi as well. Blues brass, however, wanted to target a coach that would essentially go along with upper management and not ruffle feathers. This would certainly not have been a good fit for the outgoing and unreserved Italian coach. In the end, Chelsea hired former Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca as their new head coach.

The Red Devils had previously toyed with the idea of making a managerial change as well. United execs even discussed the position with other candidates. Nevertheless, the club has come to the conclusion that current manager Erik ten Hag is the best person for the job.

There are, however, suggestions that United’s demands put off several potential candidates. Foot Mercato even claims that De Zerbi rejected the Red Devils in order to sign with Marseille.

Highly rated former Porto coach previously discussed position with club

There are suggestions in France that the news regarding De Zerbi and Marseille is essentially just a smokescreen. The Ligue 1 club recently took part in negotiations with former Porto manager Sergio Conceicao. Although an agreement was fairly close, the two sides never struck a deal. Some outlets suggest Marseille is using De Zerbi to help the team’s position regarding Conceicao.

Nevertheless, it seems as if De Zerbi is merely a plan B for Marseille. This is, however, not the only time that the French side wanted the coach. The Italian admitted back in the fall that he nearly joined Marseille in 2022.

Assuming the deal goes through, De Zerbi would be an interesting hire for the club. The Italian likes his team to play an attacking style of soccer that should make the supporters happy. Attackers such as star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ismaïla Sarr would likely benefit from the Italian being at the helm.