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Fabian Hurzeler has emerged as a shock leading candidate for the Brighton job

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Brighton have identified 31-year-old Fabian Hurzeler as a surprise leading candidate for their vacant manager role.

Hurzeler, who is one of the youngest coaches in Europe, guided Hamburg-based side St Pauli back to the Bundesliga last season, having finished first in the 2.Bundesliga. This success marks St Pauli’s return to the top division after a 13-year hiatus.

Hurzeler, who was born in Texas, USA to a Swiss father and German mother, had a brief playing career in the lower divisions in Germany before becoming an assistant coach at St Pauli in 2020. He then became the youngest coach in the club’s history when he took charge in 2022, aged just 29.

Brighton have been searching for a new manager since announcing that Roberto de Zerbi would be leaving after two seasons in charge.

And Hurzeler is joined on the shortlist by Malmo boss Henrik Rydstrom, whose side are currently seven points clear at the top of the Swedish first division.

It has been reported that former manager Graham Potter is another name that Brighton are considering, after the club’s top target Kieran McKenna signed an extension with Ipswich Town.

The search for a new manager is being led by Brighton owner Tony Bloom and chief executive Paul Barber, with the club previously linked to a host of managers including ex-Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper and ex-Seagulls midfielder Liam Rosenior.

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