The Stamford Bridge legend is expected to be unveiled as the club’s new manager in the next few days
Chelsea are on the verge of naming Frank Lampard as their new manager.
The Derby County boss has been excused from pre-season training for a second successive day in order to conclude discussions with the Blues’ board.
Derby owner Mel Morris told talkSPORT on Monday morning it is ‘only a matter of time’ before Lampard is named as Maurizio Sarri’s successor at Stamford Bridge.
It is understood that Lampard has now agreed terms on a contract with Chelsea, with an announcement expected over the next few days.
The 41-year-old, who has two years remaining on his County contract, scored a club record 211 goals and won 11 major trophies as a Chelsea player between 2001 and 2014.
According to the Daily Telegraph, one of Lampard’s first moves at Chelsea will be to integrate youth players into the first-team.
Lampard will reportedly allow youngsters to eat with the first team and use the same gym, with academy players previously restricted to their own building.
There is said to be much excitement around the club at Lampard’s imminent arrival, as well as that of Jody Morris, who is also joining from Derby as No.2.
Morris coached Chelsea’s Under-18s from 2014 to 2018 so well is aware of the qualities within the youth ranks, while Lampard fielded a young team at Derby in his first season in management.
Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James and Fikayo Tomori were among the starlets to enjoy successful loan spells last season and will be hoping to make their Chelsea breakthroughs under Lampard and Morris.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have been accused of ‘arrogance’ over their prolonged negotiations for Lampard, with Simon Jordan claiming it has not been fair on Derby.
The Premier League club’s slow pursuit of Lampard mirrors their hunt for Sarri, with the now Juventus boss only hired on July 14 last year – after the Blues had already reported back for pre-season with Antion Conte STILL in charge.
Former Crystal Palace chairman and talkSPORT presenter Jordan said: “Their players aren’t back yet and Chelsea have a habit of appointing managers in the middle of July – let’s not forget.
“The arrogance that some of these clubs exhibit is flabbergasting – it’s not like the real world.
“They’ll do what they need to do when they feel like it at the end of the day, and that isn’t right.”