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.

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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