De Zerbi hopes Mac Allister stays with Brighton: 'Changing team could be a problem for him'

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Alexis Mac Allister has been warned against a January move by Brighton and Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Mac Allister won praise for a series of energetic performances for Argentina in Qatar, starting six of La Albiceleste's seven matches as they won the World Cup for a third time.

Although he signed a new three-year contract with Brighton in October, Mac Allister has been linked with some of Europe's biggest sides, with Juventus, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea credited with an interest in the 24-year-old.

On Monday, Mac Allister returned to Brighton for the first time since the tournament and told Sky Sports he was "in no rush" to move elsewhere.

De Zerbi welcomed those comments as he insisted the AMEX Stadium was the best place for Mac Allister to continue his development.

"I spoke with him an hour ago about playing better. If he wants to stay, we're happy. It's better for him as well as for us," De Zerbi said as he previewed Tuesday's trip to Everton.

"In this moment, changing team could be a problem for him.

"We are happy for him. Now for us he's a very important player. It's better to play with him than to play without him."

Mac Allister scored twice as Brighton won 3-2 at Goodison Park in January last year, but De Zerbi will leave it late before deciding on his involvement this time around.

Asked whether Mac Allister was ready to start, De Zerbi said: "Mentally yes. Physically, I don't know. We'll decide [on Tuesday]."

Brighton fell to a 4-2 defeat in a thrilling contest against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday, with De Zerbi left to lament a lack of luck.

"We are disappointed with the result. We played well," he said. "To get a good result against a big team you have to be a little lucky. We weren't lucky.

"We had chances to open the game but Arsenal are a great team. We can lose the game, but we are disappointed with the way in which we lost the game, not only for the result, but for the way."