Lampard one of 'several candidates', Cech reveals

Chelsea's newly appointed technical and performance advisor Petr Cech has confirmed that Frank Lampard is in the running to return to the club as head coach, but he is not the only candidate for the job, Goal reports.

The former Blues goalkeeper has revealed that a club legend is among the contenders to replace Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are on the lookout for a new boss once again following Maurizio Sarri's departure to Juventus last month, after just one full season at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian guided Chelsea to a top three Premier League finish and Europa League glory during his debut campaign in England, but family ties ultimately lured him back to Italy ahead of schedule.

Club legend Lampard has been tipped to succeed Sarri, with his current employers Derby County granting him permission to engage in talks with senior officials at the Bridge.

It is understood that the Blues are willing to pay the £4 million compensation clause in Lampard's current contract at Pride Park and he was excused from pre-season training on Monday morning.

Cech, who returned to Chelsea in a new role after retiring from football at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, claims his old teammate is one of "several" contenders to lead the team next season.

"The club has identified several candidates, the situation is open," he told Czech News Agency. "Frank is one of them. Before the first team begins preparations we want to solve the issue of the new manager.

"The most important thing is to choose a new manager, it will be crucial in the context of further work.

"The coach will have ideas for the team, we will be completing the team for next season. He will have to look at the players and decide who will go to Japan."

Lampard was appointed as Derby boss last summer and impressed during his first full year in management.

The Rams narrowly missed out on promotion after reaching the Championship play-off inal, ultimately succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at Wembley to Aston Villa.

During his time at Chelsea as a player, Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League, and the Champions League, while also becoming the club's all-time record goalscorer.

Cech, meanwhile, has been charged with overseeing both the academy and first team in an advisory position, working closely with Blues director Marina Granovskaia.

The 37-year-old has already dived into the next chapter of his career with great enthusiasm and he is well aware of the responsibility he has been handed.

"It's something new to me, but I don't feel nervous. That's the thing that surprised me," Cech added.

"When I decide I want something to work in some way, I have to go to the club management first to allow it. I'm new to the role. But I have enough possibilities to influence the club, which is a great responsibility and I like it.

"My job description is to look at the first team, the academy, the transfer policy, the data from training. The range is broad, occupying all the disciplines that belong to football. My job is to report and especially bring ideas."

Derby County excused Frank Lampard from pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow the manager more time to negotiate a move to Europa League champions Chelsea.

The Championship (second tier) club said in a statement the decision was to allow Lampard’s discussions “to be concluded as soon as possible”.

“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,” Derby added.