Chelsea have been given permission to speak to Derby boss Frank Lampard about their vacant manager’s job.
Lampard, 41, spent 13 years as a Chelsea player and would replace Maurizio Sarri, who has joined Juventus after one season at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues would have to pay the Rams about £4m if they appoint Lampard.
“With pre-season fast approaching for both clubs it is hoped this will allow Chelsea to swiftly conclude their discussions,” a Derby statement read.
“The club will make no further comment until it is appropriate to do so.”
Lampard embarked on his first campaign as a manager last season, leading the Rams to the Championship play-off final where they lost to Aston Villa.
The former England midfielder made 648 Chelsea appearances, winning 11 major trophies.
If he does take over, he will inherit a transfer embargo after Chelsea were given a two-window transfer ban by world governing body Fifa – a decision the club are appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
More to follow.