Roman Abramovich may have to wait until the summer if he wants Julian Nagelsmann to be Chelsea's next permanent manager.
Nagelsmann's RB Leipzig side sit second in the Bundesliga and have made it clear they will not let their highly-rated young manager leave mid-season.
Leipzig entertain Liverpool next month in the Round of 16 in the Champions League and sit four points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, believing they can land their first league title in the club's brief 11-year history.
Chelsea and the Red Bull organisation enjoy excellent relations, having traded Timo Werner and Ethan Ampadu in recent years.
Despite that, it remains unlikely that Leipzig's CEO Oliver Mintzlaff will sanction Nagelsmann's departure if Frank Lampard were to leave Stamford Bridge.
Leipzig, however, do have a ready-made replacement in Red Bull Salzburg's highly-rated boss Jesse Marsch.
The American coach was assistant to Nagelsmann's predecessor Ralf Rangnick at Leipzig - and is widely tipped to succeed Nagelsmann whenever he leaves.
Being part of the same RB group also means Leipzig will have no additional compensation costs to pay to another club for their manager.
Frank Lampard's job under threat unless he reverses poor run of form
Frank Lampard will lose his job as Chelsea manager unless results and performances improve immediately.
Lampard is under huge pressure following the 2-0 setback against Leicester City which saw them slip to eighth in the table. It constituted a fifth defeat in eight Premier League games.
Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel, who was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain last month, would both be interested in becoming Chelsea manager if the job became available.
The club's board are aware that other Premier League managers such as Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have also gone through difficult spells this season and have turned their respective sides' fortunes around.
Lampard has always openly acknowledged the pressure that goes with being Chelsea manager and any final decision on his future will be taken by owner Roman Abramovich.
12 managers have been appointed by Chelsea since Abramovich bought the club 18 years ago.
Arsenal boss Arteta: Give Lampard more time
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Lampard deserves more time to turn Chelsea back into a winning side.
"I have known Frank for a few years and I spent some time with him and I would like the club to support him and give him a chance," the Spaniard said.
"He has huge experience as a player, he is an icon over there and he has done some really good things. You need time, and something we have not had in this calendar year is time to work on anything."
Despite a rocky patch earlier in the season, the Arsenal hierarchy publicly backed Arteta - who believes managers are facing a difficult proposition with Covid-19 protocols and a truncated season.
"I can only talk about what I have experienced," he replied when asked if he had empathy for Lampard's situation. "What I have experienced, it was full support in difficult times.
"The work you are doing behind the scenes, the methods you apply, the values you are trying to restore at the club, and the style you are trying to implement needs the support of results.
"Fortunately, if they see what you are trying to do is going to have rewards in the future, and they are a little bit patient, most of the time it pays off. If everybody is convinced we are doing things the right way.
"I speak with a lot of managers and some of them have been in the game for over 30 years and they say they have never experienced something like that. This is a new game with new rules, there are so many things we cannot control.
"It is out of our hands in a lot of moments. So I listen a lot to that because we tend to put on more and more pressure and demands on ourselves, and it is a very strange league this season and you can see that."