Derby has announced former England midfielder Frank Lampard as their new manager.
The Sky Bet Championship club has been looking for a new boss since Gary Rowett was prised away by recently-relegated Stoke and have pulled off a coup by landing Lampard.
The 39-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Pride Park as he takes up his first managerial post since retiring in 2016.
Derby has been without a manager since Gary Rowett left to take over at Stoke last week, and Lampard has been an odds-on favourite with the bookmakers to fill the vacant position at Pride Park for much of that time.
The former West Ham and Chelsea midfielder, 39, is looking to take his first step into management after a glittering playing career and he confirmed over the weekend that he had been talking with the Rams.
“There’s been interest from Derby and I’ve been speaking with them,” Lampard said as a BT Sports pundit during Saturday night’s Champions League final coverage in Kiev.
He added: “I’m ambitious and I want to become a manager at some point. It’s a big club, with a big tradition and a big history, which I really like. We’ll carry on speaking when I go home, and we’ll see.”
Those talks have resumed and Derby hopes to be in a position to make an announcement this week.
Lampard, who was also linked with the vacant job at Ipswich, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League during his playing career, as well as earning 106 England caps.
Derby finished this season sixth in the Championship but their promotion challenge was once again halted in the playoffs, losing to Fulham in the semi-finals.
Frank Lampard named Derby County manager on three-year deal
Frank Lampard has been appointed the new manager of Derby County on a three-year contract, with former Chelsea academy coach Jody Morris as his assistant.
Derby have chosen Lampard to succeed Gary Rowett, who left to take over at relegated Stoke City following the club’s defeat to Fulham in the Championship playoff semifinals.
Lampard, 39, has been a regular presence at Chelsea’s training ground over the last two years as he worked towards obtaining his UEFA A License, taking numerous sessions with the club’s academy players.
He is also close friends with Morris, who led Chelsea U18s to seven trophies in his two seasons as coach, and lobbied for the former Blues academy graduate to head up his backroom team at Pride Park.
“I’ve always wanted to manage a club with a big tradition and history like Derby County, so this is a huge opportunity. I have spent considerable time discussing the role and the club’s objectives with the chairman and board members,” Lampard told Derby’s website.
“We want to build on the club’s top six finish in the Championship last season, while at the same time bringing through some of the excellent youth and academy talent we have at Pride Park.
“This is my first job as a manager, but I’ve worked closely with some of the best coaches in the game and I’m confident in my own abilities and those of the team around me, including the board. I know it won’t be easy – managing a football team never is — but I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer has never hidden his managerial aspirations since announcing his retirement from playing in 2017, and in March confirmed that he was prepared to earn his stripes in the lower divisions before seeking an opportunity at a top club.
“It’s my dream to manage at the top — I wouldn’t want to go into anything without setting those sights as high as I possibly can,” Lampard told Talksport.
“There are lots of different routes you can take, Steven Gerrard working with the young lads at Liverpool for instance. Do you step down into the Championship or lower leagues and try and take a job on at that level?
“I’m certainly not scared to get my hands dirty slightly lower down because that’s the reality of it, you have to prove yourself.”