Derby grant Chelsea permission to speak to their manager Frank Lampard as Stamford Bridge legend closes in on top job with owner Roman Abramovich prepared to pay £4m to get him
- Derby County have granted Chelsea permission to speak to Frank Lampard
- Stamford Bridge legend, 50, is favourite to replace Maurizio Sarri as manager
- Lampard led the Rams to the Championship play-off final last season
- Club statement confirmed Derby had allowed Chelsea to speak to Lampard
Derby County have granted Chelsea permission to speak to their manager Frank Lampard about the vacant position at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea legend Lampard, 41, has been the strong favourite to take over as their manager since Maurizio Sarri left for Juventus.
A statement released by the Championship club on Tuesday read: ‘Derby County Football Club can confirm that they have granted permission for Chelsea Football Club to speak to Frank Lampard about the vacant managerial position at Stamford Bridge.
Derby County have granted permission to Chelsea to speak to their manager Frank Lampard
Lampard is a club legend at Chelsea and helped them to a succession of trophies
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, pictured with Lampard in 2005, is prepared to pay £4m to release him from his Derby contract
‘With pre-season fast approaching for both clubs it is hoped this will allow Chelsea to swiftly conclude their discussions.
‘The club will make no further comment until it is appropriate to do so.’
Lampard enjoyed a successful first season in management at Derby, leading them to the final of the Championship play-offs before losing to Aston Villa at Wembley.
And that looks likely to be enough for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to shell out £4million to release Lampard from his Derby contract.
Lampard is expected to take assistant and former Chelsea man Jody Morris (left) with him
Lampard guided Derby to the play-off final – helping the likes of young Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori to shine – but his side lost the promotion shootout against Aston Villa at Wembley
As a Chelsea player, Lampard starred for the club in an era of unprecedented success
The midfielder played 648 times for Chelsea, scoring 211 goals and helping the club win three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Derby owner Mel Morris may already be in London for talks with Chelsea executives with him also due to speak on talkSPORT in their studios at 11am on Wednesday morning.
Compensation fee will be slightly higher than £4m advertised as Chelsea will have to pay to free Jody Morris and Chris Jones too, with Lampard wanting them both on board.
Chelsea could sweeten deal by agreeing to send young talent on loan to Derby in future, as they did with Mason Mount last season.
Lampard helped the development of Chelsea youngsters Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori
Mount speaks to Lampard during Derby’s Championship play-off semi-final against Leeds
Derby’s haste to get a decision from Chelsea is understandable given their squad are due to report for pre-season training on July 1.
The Rams are set to jet off to Sarasota in Florida for a 10-day training camp later that week.
During their time in the States, Derby will play two pre-season friendlies – one against Sarasota Metropolis of the United Soccer League on July 10 and fellow Championship club Bristol City on July 13.
Lampard at Derby timeline
May 31, 2018 – Derby announce the appointment of Lampard as manager, his first managerial role, on a three-year contract.
July 17 – Lampard signs young loan players Mason Mount, from Chelsea, and Liverpool’s Harry Wilson.
August 3 – Lampard’s first match in charge sees Tom Lawrence score a last-minute winner in a 2-1 victory at Reading.
August 11 – A first defeat swiftly follows in Lampard’s second match, a 4-1 loss at home to Leeds.
September 25 – Derby knock Manchester United, and Lampard’s old Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, out of the Carabao Cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.
December 29 – Jack Marriott grabbed a dramatic late winner as the Rams recovered from 3-2 down with five minutes remaining to beat Norwich 4-3.
January 10 – Police are called to Derby’s training ground following reports that a man was “acting suspiciously” outside. Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa later admits sending someone to spy on their next opponents.
January 11, 2019 – Lampard described Bielsa’s pre-match conduct as “unethical” after Leeds beat the Rams 2-0 at Elland Road to go five points clear at the top of the Championship.
May 5 – A 3-1 win over West Brom secured a sixth-place finish for Derby and a play-off against none other than Leeds.
May 11 – Kemar Roofe’s goal gives Leeds controversial a 1-0 first-leg win at Pride Park. Derby were awarded a penalty which was then overturned on the advice of the assistant referee, a decision Lampard called “incredible”.
May 15 – Lampard gets his revenge, and Derby’s social media team are quick to rub it in, with a thrilling 4-2 win at Elland Road to secure a place in the play-off final.
May 27 – Derby fall at the final hurdle and miss out on promotion to the Premier League after a 2-1 Wembley defeat by Aston Villa. Afterwards Lampard refuses to be drawn on the Chelsea speculation.
June 25 – With Maurizio Sarri having vacated the Chelsea job on June 16 to join Juventus, Derby announced that the Blues had been granted permission to speak to Lampard about the role.