Petr Cech has appeared to suggest that Frank Lampard’s appointment as Chelsea manager is not a foregone conclusion.
The Blues have been given permission by Derby County to speak to Lampard, who led the Rams to the Championship play-off final last season.
Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer, is widely reported to be on the verge of being confirmed as boss at Stamford Bridge.
But his former Chelsea team-mate Cech, now back at the club as technical and performance adviser after retiring from playing, has suggested that other candidates are still being considered.
“The club has identified several candidates. The situation is open,” reports in Cech’s native Czech Republic have quoted him as saying,
“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.”
It would nevertheless be a major surprise if Lampard does not take over early this week – and certainly by the time Chelsea travel to Japan as part of their pre-season campaign.
Cech added: “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.”