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‘He needs to stay’ Roberto de Zerbi speaks out on future of Brighton star

Premier League giants may have to put their interest on ice

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi has revealed that star man Kaoru Mitoma ‘needs’ to stay at the club for at least one more year, amid interest from both Liverpool and Manchester United.

The Japanese international has been a revelation this season for the Seagulls as they push towards an unlikely spot in one of the European competitions next season.

Terrorising defenders from the left-flank, Mitoma has come up with seven goals and five assists in 25 Premier League outings so far, and has caught the eye of clubs around Europe, though his likely price tag means that genuine interest is really confined to the Premier League.

(Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images) 2PR860X Kaoru Mitoma #22 of Brighton & Hove Albion has a shot at goal during the Premier League match Nottingham Forest vs Brighton and Hove Albion at City Ground, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 26th April 2023

(Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images) (Alamy Stock Photo)

However, De Zerbi has warned that the 25-year-old should remain at the AMEX stadium for at least another season, with Brighton having already tied down teammate Evan Ferguson until 2028.

“He needs to stay here one more year, for him and for us”, De Zerbi told the media ahead of his side’s clash with Wolves.

He was also quizzed on defender Joel Veltman, and gave a similar answer.

Brighton are widely expected to be picked apart this summer following their high-flying success this season.

Alexis Mac Allister is keen to get a move away confirmed early in the transfer window amid interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, while Moises Caicedo was the subject of three failed bids from Arsenal in January, as well as one from Chelsea, and both clubs are expected to return for his services this summer.

Levi Colwill will also return to Stamford Bridge after his loan expires, which could leave Brighton needing to utilise their famous scouting network once more in order to plug the gaps.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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