Chelsea have been given permission by Derby County to speak to manager Frank Lampard about the possibility of taking over at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have been searching for a new manager following the departure of Maurizio Sarri, who left the club after one season to take over at Italian champions Juventus earlier this month.
Former England international Lampard has been the number one candidate to fill the vacant position and Championship side Derby have now given Chelsea permission to speak to the 41-year-old.
Last season, the ex-midfielder led the Rams to the Championship play-off final, where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa in his debut campaign as a manager.
It would be a sensational return to Stamford Bridge for Lampard, who played 648 times for Chelsea, scoring 211 goals across a hugely successful 13-year spell as a player. The Blues are willing to pay the £4million buy-out clause to land the Englishman, who would want to bring his assistant and former Chelsea player Jody Morris with him.
Derby have released a statement on Lampard’s situation, saying: “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’s first game in charge of Chelsea would be against 20-time English champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on August 11. The visitors are 3.20 to win, a draw is priced at 3.40 while the Red Devils are 2.30 favourites.