Derby County have released an official statement confirming that their manager Frank Lampard has been excused from the first day of pre-season training in order to hold talks with Chelsea.
The former Blues midfielder was with the Championship side last season in what was his first campaign in senior management.
However, Lampard now looks set to make a quick return to a club where he is still adored from his playing days, with talks ongoing despite not yet reaching a conclusion.
Still, it now looks pretty bleak for Derby in terms of holding on to Lampard, who now misses the start of their preparations for the new season.
Derby County 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 County (@dcfcofficial) July 1, 2019
This will be far from ideal for the Rams, who will surely now want this resolved quickly as much as anyone else so they can bring in a replacement to get the team going for the 2019/20 season ahead.
Chelsea are without a manager since Maurizio Sarri left to take over Juventus this summer.