Lampard is widely expected to be named as Maurizio Sarri’s successor at Stamford Bridge
Former Derby captain Michael Johnson has urged Chelsea to be ‘open and honest’ in their pursuit of Frank Lampard.
Blues legend Lampard is expected to be named as Maurizio Sarri’s successor at Stamford Bridge – however to date, no official approach has been made for the Rams boss.
And Johnson, who is currently in charge of the Guyana national side, says the continued uncertainty is beginning to affect supporters, as well as staff, at the Championship outfit.
He said: “We want to keep him, we want him to be our manager and, if there is to be an approach from Chelsea, then let’s be open and honest.
“The longer it goes on, the more disconnected we are as fans and as staff and that’s not right.
“There has been no direct contact made by Chelsea, but you can’t get away from the noises and it’s probably going to be more ‘when’ than ‘if’.”
He continued: “From our side, from Derby’s side, we want that little bit of respect from Chelsea’s regard.
“If you’re going to make the approach, just make the approach; be open and transparent about it.
“If we’re going to move on, then allow us to make that process happen. If not, then let’s squash all the rumours, allow the fans to relax, enjoy the summer and focus on Frank being our manager next year.”
While Johnson understands the dilemma Lampard has on his hands, the 45-year-old hasn’t given up hope of the former England midfielder staying put just yet.
“I understand, as a player, the pull. It’s your former club, you spent a lot of years there, and you’re a legend there,” he added.
“People will talk about lack of experience, but there’s no guarantee that experience will get you anywhere. I think it’s very hard to hide behind that he’s got a lack of experience.
“What I would say is that it was a great year to be involved with Derby County and, hopefully under his leadership, they’ll be many more!”