Frank Lampard has asked Didier Drogba to join him at Chelsea as he prepares to replace Maurizio Sarri as manager.
The Derby County boss – who won the Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup with the Blues during a legendary stint as a player – is set to return to Stamford Bridge just a year after making his debut in management.
His Derby team were beaten by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off finals but he has done enough to convince Chelsea chiefs he is ready to step up to the big time.
Sarri is departing the club in order to link up with Italian giants Juventus, despite guiding Chelsea back into the Champions League courtesy of a third-placed domestic finish and winning the Europa League, and the Blues will use £4million of the £7m compensation to release Lampard from his Derby contract.
Lampard, who also played for England, West Ham and Manchester City during a distinguished playing career, will now assemble his backroom staff ahead of being officially appointed as Chelsea chief.
Jody Morris will arrive with him as assistant, while Lampard has spoken with Drogba – who he won the Champions League with – over lunch to see if he will take on the role as a striker coach, according to The Sun.
Shay Given – the former Manchester City, Newcastle and Aston Villa goalkeeper who is also a member of Lampard’s staff at Pride Park – is also expected to join.
However, there may be no place for another Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola. The Italian served as Sarri’s No. 2 last season but may be forced to move on.