Frank Lampard has entered talks to extend his Derby County contract, according to Sky Sports, in what is a new twist in one of the sagas of the summer so far.
The report claims Chelsea are still expected to make a formal approach for their former midfielder, but Derby are willing to offer a long-term deal to Lampard – something that was always planned after a positive first season as manager.
Lampard still has two years left on his current contract at Pride Park and the Rams are planning on building a structure around him for the future, but an approach to become the boss of the club where he made his name won’t be easy to decline.
Maurizio Sarri looks set to leave Chelsea for Juventus with everything agreed, but the Blues are reluctant to confirm anything until they sort out a replacement.
Derby will demand £4million in compensation if Chelsea want to lure Lampard away, which shouldn’t be a problem if he is the chosen successor.
Chelsea's alternative managerial options
Benitez is a surprise candidate to take over if Lampard’s move falls through. The Spaniard’s Newcastle future is in doubt and he’s tasted silverware as Chelsea boss before, but it’s an appointment that probably wouldn’t be received well.
After his Juventus departure, Allegri is now unemployed and was favourite for the job at one point. He wouldn’t be a bad fall-back option.
Erik Ten Hag
Ten Hag has Ajax playing some of the best football in Europe and led the Dutch side to the Champions League semi-finals, beating holders Real Madrid and Juventus on the way.
Gracia has impressed while at the helm at Watford this season, guiding the Hornets to an FA Cup final and top-half Premier League finish.