Derby grant Chelsea permission to speak to Frank Lampard about vacant manager's position
Lampard has been linked with a move back to the West London club since Maurizio Sarri stepped down as manager earlier this month
Frank Lampard took a step closer to an emotional return to Chelsea on Tuesday after Derby County gave the Premier League club permission to speak to the former Blues midfielder about their vacant manager's job.
Lampard spent 13 years at Chelsea during an illustrious playing career, winning three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two League Cups, as well as the Uefa Champions League and Europa League titles.
He has been linked with a move back to the West London club since Maurizio Sarri stepped down as manager earlier this month to return to Italy to take over at Juventus.
"Derby County can confirm that they have granted permission for Chelsea to speak to Frank Lampard about the vacant managerial position at Stamford Bridge," the Championship club said.
"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."
Chelsea would have to pay compensation to take Lampard away from Pride Park as he has two years remaining on the deal he signed last summer.
Lampard enjoyed a successful first season in club management in 2018/19, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League Derby lost the Championship play-off final to Aston Villa 2-1 on May 27.
The 41-year-old former England midfielder would be a popular choice with the Chelsea fans to succeed Sarri. The Italian guided the club to a third-place finish in the Premier League as well as winning the Europa League but was often criticised for the team's style of play.
With both parties given the green light to hold talks, it seems unlikely Lampard would turn down the chance to manage a club where he spent the majority of his 21-year playing career.
Lampard came through the youth system at West Ham United before joining Chelsea for £11 million in June 2001 before Roman Abramovich's 2003 takeover turned them from also-rans to Premier League champions.
Lampard, who also enjoyed spells at Manchester City and New York City before hanging up his boots in 2016, is Chelsea's record goalscorer with 211 goals in 648 appearances.
While the chance to return to a club that revere him and to manage in the English top tier - as well as the Champions League - next term, Lampard, should he accept the job, will have several issues to contend with before Chelsea begin their season with a trip to Manchester United in the league on August 11.
The club are currently appealing a two-window transfer ban by Fifa and earlier this month sold their star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
Should negotiations prove successful Lampard will be the second Chelsea stalwart to return to the club for the new season.
Last week, Petr Cech, a long-time teammate of Lampard's during their playing days in West London, returned to the Premier League club as technical and performance advisor.
Updated: June 25, 2019 04:07 PM