Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is getting closer to a Stamford Bridge return after Derby County granted him permission to speak with Chelsea about replacing Maurizio Sarri.
Lampard guided Derby County to sixth in the Championship table last season before losing 2-1 to Aston Villa in the play-off final at Wembley.
Some believe the Chelsea job is coming too soon for Lampard and think appointing Lampard is a big risk.
Here are what his players at Derby County think of him:
Mason Mount on Lampard: “Being a Chelsea midfielder, I would always watch him and try to take things from his game. This season he’s taught me a lot about timing my movements into the penalty area and getting into the right positions, as well as pressing when we don’t have the ball.”
Fikayo Tomori on Lampard: “Coming from Chelsea, he is a legend. Not too long ago, I was in the academy there and he was scoring for Chelsea.
“I was watching his games whilst he was there and now he’s managing me.
“I know he knows what he is talking about. He has been at the highest level of the game, played for England and Chelsea, so for him to be my manager, I know he wants the best for me.”
Ashley Cole speaking to Rams TV: “I respect him (Frank Lampard) so much.
“When I played with him, and of course what he has done in his little time here, has been fantastic.
“He is my boss now, so it is not as though I have come here to take short cuts or expect anything more because he is my friend. No, the same with Jody Morris (assistant manager) and Jonesy (first-team coach Chris Jones), and Shay (goalkeeper coach Shay Given).”
Tom Huddlestone speaking to Derbyshire Live: “I think obviously the fans want him (Lampard) to (stay), the players want him to. We’ve fought for him all season and it’s just a shame we couldn’t quite get over the line.
“I think overall, being the manager’s first season, nine new (summer) signings, young lads coming in, everyone clicked instantly, especially off the pitch. I think it’s been positive. We’ve gone a step further than we did last year.”
“It’s disappointing (not to get promoted), obviously, but once the dust settles down over the next few weeks, come pre-season, we can probably look at it as a positive season.”
Jack Marriott told Derbyshire Live: “He’s got us playing. From what I’m aware, we didn’t play as much football last season.
“So he’s changed the style of football and brought in quite a few players.
“To be able to get this far has shown what the manager and staff can bring to us, and how us as players can adapt to different styles.
“He’s encouraging us in the dressing room and you can get advice from him.
“He’s done it on the big stage – in Champions League finals, so it’s great for us that we can tap into that.”