Frank Lampard has entered negotiations with Derby County over a new contract, with Chelsea yet to make an official approach to sign the manager.
With Maurizio Sarri widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge and join Juventus, club icon Lampard has been lined up as a likely replacement.
New Deal at Derby?
However, according to Sky Sports, Chelsea are yet to make any contact with Derby to discuss a move for Lampard, so the Rams are pushing ahead with their plans to make him their long-term manager.
The club do still expect Chelsea to get in touch, and there is a clause in Lampard's contract which would allow him to make the move. Derby would request around £4m in compensation, which is not expected to be a problem for Chelsea.
The Blues will only reach out to Derby once Sarri's departure to Juventus is confirmed which, according to The Mirror, was expected to happen on Saturday. They state that it is now 'likely' to happen on Sunday, which would then prompt an official approach for Lampard.
Sarri Time of Arrival Unknown
However, Sarr's father suggested that no such timeline is in place. Speaking to Giacomo Carolei, Amerigo Sarri insisted that nobody involved has any idea when his son's move to Juventus will go through.
He said: “[Chelsea] haven’t released him yet. Even he doesn’t know when it’ll happen. I hope he returns to Italy.”
Whilst Sarri's return to the Serie A will trigger an official move for Lampard, The Times suggest that owner Roman Abramovich has already spoken to the former midfielder over the phone. He is said to have promised Lampard that he would be given at least two seasons in the dugout at Stamford Bridge, which convinced Lampard to take the job.
Regardless, Chelsea still have to strike a deal with Derby to hire Lampard, since the 40-year-old still has two years remaining on his contract at Pride Park. If they fail to do so, Marca (via Sport Witness) suggest that Chelsea could move for Watford's Javi Gracia.
The Blues are said to like Gracia 'very much', having been incredibly impressed with his work since arriving in England in January 2018. But, make no mistake about it, Lampard is Chelsea's first choice, and it seems just a matter of time before they make their move.