Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said he would "love" to be part of the club's long-term future by signing a contract extension.
Lampard, 42, has 18 months left on his contract at Chelsea, having succeeded Maurizio Sarri in July 2019. He arrived at Stamford Bridge as a relative novice in managerial terms having spent a single season at second-tier Derby County. However, the former midfielder has a strong affinity with Chelsea and its supporters following 13 exemplary years as a Blues player when he became the club's all-time leading goalscorer.
Lampard guided Chelsea to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last season, despite contending with a transfer ban and the sale of star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
He is now working to make the club title contenders, having overseen a squad rebuild that cost around £220 million ($296m) in the summer transfer window.
"In terms of my contract, it seems to have flown by, the time I've been here," Lampard told a news conference ahead of Chelsea's Premier League match against Leeds United.
"I knew there were a lot of circumstances at the beginning that were going to make last year transitional and maybe slightly difficult.
"Now I feel like I would love to be part of the long-term plan here. The signings we made in the summer, other than probably Thiago Silva, particularly, were signings for now and the future."
The new signings have already made an impact, with Chelsea aiming to go top of the Premier League with a win over Leeds on Saturday, while they are also on a 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions, which has helped qualify top of their Champions League group.
Yet Lampard feels his players need more time to challenge on both domestic and European fronts.
"At the minute, I think we're working towards something and people are getting very excited and mentioning us being in a title race this year," he said.
"I always saw it as a longer plan than that and it might take until next year for us to really challenge, because of the signings, because of the bedding-in process."