After a bit of managerial rumor drama this morning — Mourinho! Benitez! Allegri! neither one at all realistic — Frank Lampard remains the seemingly overwhelming favorite to take over at Chelsea after Maurizio Sarri leaves. That exit is expected to be official by the end of the week, with an announcement possibly on Friday, for when Juventus have taken stadium tours off schedule.
Reports in Italy do maintain that the hold up is largely due to Chelsea not having a replacement lined up, though that’s never stopped us before.
Manager in talks are progressing!— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) June 11, 2019
That said, the replacement looks quite likely to be Lampard, despite his stated desire a couple weeks ago to stay at Derby, and the usual spate of warnings about taking the risk that the Chelsea job entails. Job security in the traditional sense is a silly thing to expect in football management however, and the current situation may actually give any new manager more leeway than has been afforded anyone else in the Abramovich Era.
So, along those lines, we finally have a report specifically about a Chelsea meeting with Lampard, though Goal’s wording has changed from “have met” to “want to meet” to “set to meet” in the few hours since the report was first published.
There’s one other name mentioned in the report who doesn’t immediately come across as laughably impossible (like the three mentioned at the beginning), Ajax Amsterdam’s Erik ten Hag. The surprise Champions League semifinalist and rising managerial star is said to be “cautious” over taking the hot seat at Chelsea however, with the transfer ban supposedly the main reason for that. But isn’t his appeal supposed to be that he builds from within, using the club’s own youth talent pool? So that doesn’t really make much sense.
So, Lamps it is. Eventually.
UPDATE: You want more speculation? How about adding Didier Drogba, who will be playing at Soccer Aid this weekend at the Bridge, into the mix?