Frank Lampard looks on course to take over as Chelsea manager after Maurizio Sarri told the club he wants to leave.
Lampard, who led Derby County to the Championship play-off final in his first season in management, had been earmarked as a future Blues boss.
Reports recently suggested that Chelsea could appoint him sooner rather than later if Sarri leaves Stamford Bridge.
And reports in Sarri’s native Italy say he has made it clear he wants to be released from his contract.
Sarri. 60, is being tipped to take over at Juventus – just days after leading Chelsea to their Europa League triumph against Arsenal.
That could pave the way for Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer Lampard to return to the Bridge, where he remains a hugely popular figure.
He is the odds-on favourite with the bookmakers for the job and the appointment would be sure to go down well with fans who idolise the former England star.
Sarri, meanwhile, is set to return to Serie A despite repeatedly insisting that his preference was to remain in the Premier League.
His season in charge was a troubled one at times but turned out to be a success, with Chelsea returning to the Champions League and ending the campaign with a trophy.