Chelsea’s hierarchy are keeping a close eye on Frank Lampard’s progress and they are considering him as a candidate to replace Maurizio Sarri.
Chelsea are yet to confirm whether they will be sticking with Sarri, who despite securing a top-four finish, has not enjoyed the smoothest of relationships with the club, fans or players.
Indeed, Sarri has clashed regularly with just about everyone at Stamford Bridge and sources believe that he will be departing.
As such Chelsea have been looking at their options. In an ideal world they would love to land Atletico Madrid chief Diego Simeone, and they will try that avenue before any others – Chelsea have tried on more than one occasion to land the Argentine, but as it stands he has not changed his mind.
Likewise, Juventus’ Max Allegri is a manager they are fond of, but has not shown much willingness to come to England – although the fact he is leaving Turin in the summer, will give them the chance to at least talk to him.
Zinedine Zidane had been talked about late last year, and that was an appealing option to Chelsea, but he has since returned to Real Madrid.
Of their other options, they have been doing their homework on Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag – who has also been strongly linked with Barcelona, who are believed to be considering the future of their coach Ernesto Valverde, and Bayern Munich – whose coach Niko Kovac is under-pressure.
Ten Hag himself has admitted to being flattered at being linked to the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea.
“It’s an honour to be linked with big clubs like Barcelona, Bayern and Chelsea but I have a contract with Ajax and I am happy here, there are no problems for me,” he said.
“I am happy and I’m planning my future here, I am not thinking about leaving.”
They have also been doing made enquiries about Wolves boss Nuno, but the Black Country outfit are confident he will sign a new bumper deal after leading them to a brilliant 7th place finish in his first season in the Premier League.
Then there is Lampard – the Chelsea legend who stepped into management, alongside another Blues favourite Jody Morris – when taking on the managerial reigns at Derby County.
Lampard has taken Derby’s into the Championship play-off final, playing some excellent football in the process, and his progress has not gone unnoticed at his former club.
Lampard admits he is an ‘easy’ link when it comes to Chelsea, given his history with them.
“I can’t do much, having played for Chelsea for 13 years, and the link I have with them will go on forever, it possibly means if Chelsea have their moments, which we all know they have had there, then I am an easy link,” he said.
“Does it affect me? Absolutely not because I have a three-year contract here. I am planning for pre-season, I am planning recruitment in the summer, and planning before that getting promoted, if we can.
Bookmakers currently have Lampard as favourite to be Chelsea’s next manager with PaddyPower putting him at 6/5.