Lampard excused from Derby pre-season to conclude Chelsea return

Derby County have excused manager Frank Lampard from the start to the Championship club's pre-season training programme with the former midfielder expected to complete a return to Chelsea this week.

Homecoming: Frank Lampard is close to becoming the new Chelsea manager

Lampard was last week given permission to speak to the Blues, with whom he won 13 trophies in 13 years as a player at Stamford Bridge.

"Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible," Derby said in a statement on Monday.

"On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager."

Chelsea have been seeking a new manager since Maurizio Sarri departed to take charge of Juventus last month.

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