helsea may be faced with little option but to offer Frank Lampard an earlier than anticipated return to the club as head coach.

Maurizio Sarri’s return to Italy with Juventus will be confirmed once compensation is finally agreed, leaving Chelsea to hunt for his successor.

Lampard has always been viewed as a Chelsea manager in waiting, but the club would have ideally approached him after more than one year in charge of Derby County in the Championship.

Chelsea’s hand may be forced, however, as a number of Lampard’s rivals for the post this time round could prove to be out of reach.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag as admirers inside Stamford Bridge, but Dutch sources expect him to stay in Amsterdam after taking the club to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Bayern Munich are also thought to be impressed by Ten Hag, as the Germans consider whether or not to make their own managerial change.