Frank Lampard to have face-to-face talks with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as he stands on brink of Stamford Bridge return as manager
- EXCLUSIVE: Frank Lampard is set for face-to-face talks with Roman Abramovich
- The legendary Blues midfielder is the firm favourite to be Chelsea’s next boss
- Now Maurizio Sarri has joined Juventus, Abramovich is stepping up discussions
- A meeting between the Chelsea owner and Lampard will be set to iron out details
- Derby say they are yet to receive an official approach from Chelsea for Lampard
Frank Lampard is set for face-to-face talks with Roman Abramovich early this week to iron out the details of his return to Chelsea as manager.
With Maurizio Sarri’s exit to Juventus now confirmed, Chelsea owner Abramovich will take a hands-on approach to appointing the first English manager of his 16 years at Stamford Bridge.
The Russian billionaire is expected to meet with Derby County boss Lampard in the coming days in a bid to finalise his appointment by the end of the week.
Lampard is expected to be offered a three-year contract.
Frank Lampard is set to hold further talks as he closes in on returning to Chelsea as manager
The club’s all-time leading scorer is due to meet Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich this week
Abramovich has been seen at just one competitive Chelsea game all season – the Europa League final in Baku – but will step up his involvement to get Lampard, 40, in as his new head coach.
Derby will ask for £4million compensation in exchange for losing Lampard – although such a fee is not thought to be a problem for Chelsea and Abramovich.
Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer will ask for patience in his new role, given that he cannot sign players for two windows under the club’s transfer ban, and will be tasked with embedding academy players into the first team.
Lampard is a Chelsea legend and should he succeed Maurizio Sarri, it would be a popular move
While there are concerns about his inexperience, his ability to coach young players is a bonus
FRANK LAMPARD’S HONOURS AT CHELSEA
Premier League x3: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10
FA Cup x4: 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2012
League Cup x2: 2004-05, 2006-07
Community Shield x2: 2005, 2009
Champions League: 2011-12
Europa League: 2012-13
There are obvious concerns in the Chelsea hierarchy about Lampard’s lack of experience, having been a manager for just one season.
But his proven track record working with talented young players, as shown at Derby last season, is an attractive commodity given the transfer ban.
And his pending return will galvanise a fan base that was fractured and angered during Sarri’s up-and-down year in charge.
Petr Cech is set to return in a technical role, while Didier Drogba could return in some capacity. Lampard’s No 2 Jody Morris and coach Chris Jones would follow him from Derby.
On Monday, Derby owner Mel Morris revealed Chelsea were yet to come to him with a direct offer to take Lampard.
Morris told talkSPORT: ‘We’ve made it clear to everyone, but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain him for the long term. If Chelsea want to hire him, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that.
Lampard’s assistant at Derby, Jody Morris (right), would move with him if he re-joined Chelsea
‘Meantime, we’ll continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank for him to know how much he’s wanted by everyone associated with the club.’
Should a deal with Lampard not come to fruition, Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has his admirers in the Blues’ boardroom but sources in Holland believe he will spend another year in Amsterdam, while former Juventus boss Max Allegri ruled himself out.
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo and Watford’s Javi Gracia were also linked with the job but both would be extremely difficult to get out of their respective clubs.
Fans were divided during Sarri’s year in charge and a Lampard appointment would help unite
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