Bayern Munich might look to Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach if they cannot land their top target Xabi Alonso this summer.

That, effectively, is the latest from Germany as the build-up to a potential summer merry-go-round continues.

Sky’s Florian Plettenbrg reported as such but has also said he believes Alonso is more likely to join Bayern than Liverpool if he even leaves Leverkusen.

We are some way off the time when things start moving in this game of technical area musical chairs which is widely expected.

Jurgen Klopp, Xavi and Thomas Tuchel will move on. After that, who really knows?

Read into every nuance of every answer delivered by De Zerbi in his second or third language (he also speaks Spanish) if you wish.

Study every frown or sigh and seize on any mention of the club, the chairman and targets.

But we can’t really know the inner thoughts of any of those who might be involved, including De Zerbi himself.

The storylines of some clubs’ seasons are yet to be written.

I’m not really thinking of Albion here. More of Manchester United, maybe Sporting of Lisbon, plus the England and Germany national teams.

We know De Zerbi has a contract until 2026 and that he suddenly threw in a mention of a new deal just ahead of the transfer window, while never really expanding on it since.

And then we form opinions and positions.

So here’s my opinion. It is not yet time for De Zerbi to leave Albion.

Not yet, not for another season at least.

Not with where the club are, with the lessons learned and progress made in this European season, with the place where some players are in their progress.

The timing seems wrong - but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

I am not sure De Zerbi’s stock has risen in recent weeks.

Not just because of the 4-0 defeat in Rome.

There also, very unfairly, seems to be a school of thought that Albion have gone backwards compared to last season.

The truth, of course, is they have gone forwards in terms of the bigger picture.

They might be a couple of places below where they were in the league at the end of last term.

They might eventually find themselves three or four places lower than sixth.

But the season has been played against a totally different landscape.

One where Liverpool have been a force again, where Aston Villa have started the campaign from a far stronger position.

Where Chelsea have been a bit better (although that might not be enough for their fans).

Where West Ham have been a lot better than last season, Wolves too.

Where two key midfielders have gone and the replacements have either not worked out or are not yet fully ready.

And one, of course, where the new demands of Europe have taken their toll, not least in terms of fatigue, injuries and selection decisions.

Speaking in Rome, De Zerbi listed various clubs who have struggled in the league because of their European commitments.

That was the night before the game. It was just after the game that he spoke about everyone at the club learning.

And what happens when De Zerbi speaks? Everyone looks for clues as to what he will do next season.

Well, not everyone - but it feels like that sometimes.

What can he say? That he will definitely be Brighton manager next season come what may?

I’m not sure any ambitious coach could give that 100% guarantee right now.

But does he need to? He is under contract. A bit like many season-ticket holders, he doesn’t need to renew for 2024-25.

Of course he could say something almost definitive, like he firmly expects or plans to be here. But any slither of doubt will be seized upon by those who want to.

De Zerbi has said so much already along the lines of what can be done at Albion next season.

How he would do things better. How much he likes what he has at Albion. About it not all being about whether they are in Europe next season.

If a dream job comes up and agreements can be reached, one would imagine he WILL move on. It happens with coaches and it happens with players.

If that were to occur, it would not be because the club did not sign an extra midfielder in January Sometimes an opportunity comes but not at the right moment, Graham Potter to Chelsea being an obvious example.

In the meantime, the wayward guesswork, the well-informed reports, the social media snippets posted with an agenda and the wishful thinking will continue.

We will read stuff we have read before, dressed up as something new.

Albion have progressed this season, even if they finish lower than sixth.

They have laid foundations for the next step and they can be stronger next term.

While we still await an announcement of the club accounts for last season, we are told the numbers will be good.

That would leave them in a position to make further, shrewd investment while others find that rules which say you cannot overspend beyond a certain amount mean you REALLY cannot overspend beyond a certain amount.

There might a project out there which tells De Zerbi the time is right for him to move on.

Equally, and whatever happens elsewhere, it feels like the time is right and the stage is set for him to grow again with Albion next season.

And that does not need to be with a new contract.