The Sun report that Chelsea have identified Frank Lampard as their top target to replace Maurizio Sarri, and it is likely the Derby boss will rejoin his former team.
That would mean The Rams would have to appoint their sixth permanent manager in four years in an attempt to better their brilliant season last year.
Lampard was viewed as a risk by some when he was appointed last summer, but he has proved himself a great manager by getting Derby to the play-off and can boast of a 42% win ratio as a result.
Derby could go down a similar route of appointing an unproven manager due to last year’s success, but to guarantee improvement they should go after a manager who already has a promotion on his CV.
Here we look at three potential successors Derby should look at in order to go one further next season and gain promotion.
The former Fulham boss has been out of work since he was sacked by The Cottagers in November, and has since held talks with West Brom about becoming their new manager, but they opted for Slaven Bilic instead.
Jokanovic has twice won promotion from the Championship, with Watford in 2015 and Fulham last year. He knows what it takes to get teams scoring goals and winning games, and he would be a perfect fit at Derby.
However, talks with West Brom supposedly broke down over finances, in terms of what he would be paid and the budget that would be made available to him.
That means he is unlikely to join Derby as they wouldn’t be able to offer as much as The Baggies, although if he desires to get back into management this summer then he may be more flexible in negotiations.
This presents a little bit of a risk as Adkins has had mixed fortunes in his managerial career. Previous spells at Reading and Sheffield United didn’t end well but since then has turned Hull around, got them playing good football and led them to a respectable 11th-placed finish last season.
He is now without a club after turning down a new contract with The Tigers and a move to Pride Park would suit both him and the club.
Adkins is a manager who brings out the best with what he has to work with. At Hull bringing in players was restricted but he has nurtured players and got them playing to their highest level – Jarrod Bowen is an example of that.
Like Jokanovic he has guided a team to promotion from this division – Southampton – so is capable of grinding out results throughout the season and that would be welcome at Derby.
The Charlton boss has previously been linked as a potential Lampard successor, but it may prove difficult to lure him away from The Valley.
He has just guided the club to promotion to the Championship, and with a possible takeover due to happen the future is looking potentially bright for the Addicks, so Bowyer may want to stick around.
Derby should try and bring him in despite that. He has proved he has what it takes to get a team up and shown faith in young players at the same time, which is another bonus for Derby and the likes of Jayden Bogle.