Paul Barber says Albion and Roberto De Zerbi were right to make a “grown-up” decision to part ways.

The Seagulls are on the hunt for a new head coach after mutually agreeing to cut short their working relationship still two years from the end of his contract.

Club and coach were unable to see eye-to-eye over transfer policy and Barber said it was correct not to settle for an uneasy compromise or less than perfect agreement.

Kieran McKenna quickly became the bookies’ favourite to succeed De Zerbi although Barber was unwilling to discuss individuals or even style of coaches.

Asked whether he had been optimistic De Zerbi could stay, Albion’s deputy chairman and chief executive told The Argus: “We have kept an open mind.

“We didn’t come to any conclusions too early. We wanted to make sure we all had plenty of opportunities to talk about how we wanted to work going forward and what it might look like.

“In the end, we couldn’t reach an agreement that worked for both sides.

“I think you have to be grown-up in conversations like that and realise, if you can’t reach the perfect agreement or one that is going to work for both sides, it is better to stay friendly, be sensible, be grown-up and bring the situation to an amicable conclusion.

“So many times in relationships, if they start to fracture a little bit because people have different ideas, it can become acrimonious.

“We didn’t ever want it to get like that. It didn’t get like that.

“Roberto was of the same mindset. We talked and talked and talked and we just didn’t get there.

“There’s still plenty of love for him from the club, from the fans, the staff and everybody. We really wish him well. He is a top coach and a really good person to work with.”