Chelsea are hoping to conclude negotiations to make Frank Lampard their new manager by the end of the week.
Lampard is the club’s first choice to succeed Maurizio Sarri and they want to have him in place as soon as possible.
Derby, who will demand £4m in compensation to release Lampard, continue to insist they have yet to be approached by the Blues.
But it is believed to be only a matter of time as Chelsea are prepared to give their former midfielder a three-year contract.
Lampard has been away on holiday in France, but as revealed by Standard Sport earlier in the week, he has already informed Derby of his desire to join Chelsea if the opportunity arises.
The Championship club have been drawing up a shortlist of possible replacements, although claim that they’re still working on giving Lampard an extension on his current terms. He has two years of his current agreement left to run and Derby say they are ignoring approaches from potential candidates over the job.
But Chelsea are sure Lampard wants to be their next coach and become part of a new set-up that will also include Petr Cech in a technical director role.
The west London club want to avoid a repeat of last year when Sarri took over from Antonio Conte after pre-season had already begun.
Those players not involved in international duty earlier this month are due to report back in a few weeks and Chelsea want Lampard to have plenty of time to prepare for the new EPL campaign.
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