Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is in line to take over from Massmiliano Allegri as the new Juventus manager, and the Blues have reportedly identified club legend Lampard as the man to replace him.
Lampard had an impressive first season in management at Derby County as he guided the Rams to the play-off final, only for the Rams to slip up at the final hurdle against Aston Villa.
His success at Derby has led to Chelsea now believing Lampard is ready to take the reins at Stamford Bridge, but Derby reportedly are not willing to let their manager leave cheaply.
The 40-year-old has two years left to run on the deal he signed at Pride Park last summer, while Derby are said to be relaxed about the situation and are preparing for next season in the assumption Lampard will be in charge.
He has already held several meetings with chairman Mel Morris about plans for next season, and the club has not yet received an approach from Chelsea for their manager’s services, according to the report.
Lampard played nearly 650 matches for Chelsea during a 13-year stint at the club, where he became the Blues’ all-time leading goalscorer.
Derby fans will be encouraged to learn that Derby have certainly not given up all hope of losing Lampard, but it does appear as though the stars are aligning for the former midfielder to return to the London club.
It is something of a boost that the club will demand a sizeable compensation fee, but this will not count for much with the club bracing for a major setback if Lampard departs.
Lampard’s first season at Derby was not perfect, but the club showed major signs of progression under his leadership. The Rams will have their work cut out to replace Lampard with an equally exciting and driven young manager.