Paul Merson has said that he expects Roberto De Zerbi to be at the top of Tottenham’s wishlist to replace Antonio Conte at the end of the season.

Over the last couple of weeks, reports have indicated that Fabio Paratici has begun compiling a list of managers to take over from Conte, even though Spurs were expected to stick with the Italian until his contract runs out at the end of the season (Daily Mail).

Antonio Conte

(Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The Athletic revealed last week that De Zerbi, who has won many admirers since taking over at Brighton back in September, is one of the names on Spurs’ shortlist to take over from the Italian.

However, earlier this week, the 43-year-old played down the speculation about his future,  telling BBC Sport that he remains happy at the Amex Stadium.

Merson has now suggested that it would not be surprising to see Tottenham make a move for the former Sassuolo boss, given the work he has done on the South Coast.

The former Arsenal midfielder wrote in his column in The Daily Star: “I consider Brighton to be major players in both the FA Cup and the race for Champions League football. That’s how highly I rate the work of Roberto De Zerbi.

“Tottenham will be watching the Italian in Brighton’s final stretch of the season, there is no doubt about it. They will want to see how he fares under pressure.

“The difference is when you get a top job like Graham Potter at Chelsea, you’re faced with scrutiny every single week. If you finish mid-table at Brighton, everyone is happy.

“If De Zerbi delivers between now and the end of May, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him offered the Tottenham job ahead of Mauricio Pochettino.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Amidst the various candidates who have been mentioned over the last few weeks, there is no doubt in my mind that De Zerbi seems like the best fit for Spurs.

The Italian’s career is on an upward trajectory and he is the sort of project manager that Tottenham need at this moment. 

However, it remains to be seen whether the 43-year-old would be open to jumping ship from Brighton less than a year after taking over at the club.

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