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Frank Lampard: Chelsea set to appoint former manager as caretaker boss until end of season

Frank Lampard was at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to watch their goalless draw against Liverpool; Chelsea legend managed club for 18 months before being sacked in January 2021; former Barcelona and Spain boss Luis Enrique in London to hold Chelsea talks over managerial vacancy

Chelsea will appoint Frank Lampard as caretaker manager until the end of the season on Thursday.

Lampard is expected to take training on Thursday afternoon and be in charge for Chelsea's next game at Wolves on Saturday after agreeing a deal to return to his former club.

Nothing has been discussed about Lampard staying beyond the summer with the process for identifying and appointing a full-time head coach continuing.

Lampard was at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night to watch Chelsea's goalless draw against Liverpool just 48 hours after Graham Potter was sacked.

Lampard, Chelsea's record goalscorer, was dismissed as head coach at Stamford Bridge in January 2021. He then took over at Everton but lost his job in January after less than a year in the role.

A caretaker move for Lampard comes after Chelsea held talks in London with former Barcelona and Spain boss Luis Enrique over their managerial vacancy.

The 52-year-old, who is out of work after leaving the Spain job following the World Cup, won the treble at Barcelona in 2014/15, lifting LaLiga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

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Spanish football expert Graham Hunter discusses whether Luis Enrique could become Chelsea's next manager.
Image: Luis Enrique was in London for talks with Chelsea on Wednesday

The Spaniard and former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann are the leading contenders to take the job permanently.

Sky in Germany are reporting that talks between Nagelsmann's representatives and Chelsea are ongoing and positive.

The 35-year-old, recently sacked by Bayern, wants to manage in the Premier League and sees it as his natural next destination but will not rush into a decision over his future amid strong interest from Chelsea and Tottenham.

The German wants a short period to reset and his preference is to oversee a full pre-season when taking on a new job.

Chelsea are set to assess up to seven candidates as they undergo what they insist will be an "exhaustive process" to replace Potter.

Mauricio Pochettino, Ruben Amorim, Oliver Glasner and Luciano Spalletti are also among those under discussion internally at Chelsea.

However, Sky Sports News understands former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not a candidate, while Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi is not believed to be on the list.

Frank Lampard's managerial stats

Club Win percentage Goals per game Goals conceded per game
Everton 27 per cent 0.98 1.61
Chelsea 52 per cent 2.04 1.38
Derby 46 per cent 1.81 1.40

'Lampard will give Chelsea massive lift'

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

"Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend. If you speak to most Chelsea supporters, they will say he is the club's greatest player. He lives close to Stamford Bridge, he's available at the moment and he's been the Chelsea manager before. Immediately, the club will get a massive lift. He's got an incredible connection with Chelsea fans and he's done the job before.

"Things went wrong for him in his final month in charge, but people do forget that he did do a good job as the Chelsea manager in extremely difficult circumstances. There was a transfer embargo, which meant he wasn't able to sign players to begin with. He got the club to an FA Cup final and into the Champions League. In his second season, they were playing well and were top of the table about a month before he lost his job because of a poor run of form.

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Relive Lampard's final post-match interview as Chelsea head coach, following a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City

"Even that experience hasn't changed the way Chelsea supporters think about him. He's a club legend, Chelsea need someone to steady the ship, and the Chelsea owners still believe they've got the players at the club to win the Champions League this season. If they were to win it, it would be an incredible achievement.

"There are no plans that anyone is aware of at the moment for Lampard to be Chelsea's next permanent manager, but we've seen this happen in the past. It happened with Roberto Di Matteo when he won the Champions League, so I wouldn't totally rule it out.

"If Lampard gets the job as caretaker and Chelsea win all their remaining games including the Champions League, then there would be a decision for the Chelsea owners to make."

Redknapp: It's a no-brainer - Lampard has unfinished business at Chelsea

Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp:

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Jamie Redknapp would not be surprised if Chelsea appointed his cousin Frank Lampard as caretaker manager, stating no-one knows the club better than him

"I watched the game on Tuesday night. I saw him in the crowd and he looked like a guy who hadn't just gone there for a few drinks. He watched it in a very studious way and I started to think that might be an opportunity and the Chelsea owners may look at Frank as an option.

"There's not many other managers right now. There are a few names being talked about, so this might make sense for the owners just to give themselves a bit of breathing space and give Frank an opportunity to get back in the game. He's got unfinished business at Chelsea. He loves the club and nobody knows it better than him. I think this is a complete no-brainer.

"The players haven't had that many good results or scored many goals, but there are real signs at the club. They've got a Champions League game to come against Real Madrid. People have said it's almost impossible for them to do it, but Roberto Di Matteo did it when he was an interim manager. Stranger things have happened in football. What an opportunity for Frank and a good time for the club to take the pressure out of the situation.

"Knowing Frank as I do, he's an out-and-out winner. Nobody has more drive, more desire. Nobody's done more to reach the top and have a better work ethic as a player. I've got no doubt he'll do it as a manager because he'll never give in."

Analysis: Does Lampard have goal-scoring solution needed to repeat Di Matteo magic?

Chelsea's head coach Frank Lampard scratches his head after the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, London, England, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. City won the match 3-1. (Andy Rain/Pool via AP)
Image: Lampard was Chelsea head coach from July 2019 to January 2021

Sky Sports' Peter Smith:

"If anyone knows about the demands - and ruthlessness - at Chelsea it's Frank Lampard. The club legend was sacked in January 2021 just over a month after taking the team to the top of the Premier League table. Like Graham Potter, his appointment had been intended to break the hire and fire cycle but there was no mercy, even for someone of Lampard's stature at Stamford Bridge.

"Interestingly, he also knows the dramatic impact a caretaker manager can have. After all, it was Lampard captaining Roberto Di Matteo's Champions League-winning Chelsea team in the 2012 final. But could he have a similarly decisive impact on this current crop?

"It seems a tall order to repeat that Champions League triumph, with holders Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and then either Manchester City or Bayern Munich in the semis. It does not get much tougher than that.

"But any heroics in that competition, like Chelsea's prospects in the Premier League, will depend on Lampard getting this team scoring goals again. The draw with Liverpool on Tuesday night was a perfect example of their toothlessness right now.

"However, those troubles in front of goal stretch back through Lampard's previous tenure, too. He used 17 different attacking combinations in his front three in his second season, as he searched for the solution. The previous year his side had ranked 16th for converting clear-cut chances.

"Perhaps watching on from the stands on Tuesday, Chelsea's record goalscorer was figuring out the make-up of his attack to play Wolves on Saturday - and what he could say to the forwards in the meantime to try to foster some kind of upturn in confidence or belief in front of goal.

"Expect an instant switch back to his preferred 4-3-3 set-up. Also expect Lampard to try to use this unexpected opportunity to prove to any potential suitors in the summer that he can play attractive, modern, front-foot football, having had to scrap and fight for survival at Everton.

"Ultimately a manager and his team depend on their goalscorers, though. In 2012, Di Matteo had Didier Drogba. Lampard does not have that luxury. But the high expectations at Chelsea demand he comes up with an answer with this group. It is an intriguing, testing challenge to come back to."

Chelsea's remaining fixtures

Saturday: Wolves (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 12: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 15: Brighton (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 18: Real Madrid (H), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 26: Brentford (H) - Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm

April 29: Arsenal (A) - Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports

May 6: Bournemouth (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 13: Nottingham Forest (H) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 20: Manchester City (A) - Premier League, kick-off 3pm

May 28: Newcastle (H) - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm

TBA: Man Utd (A) - Premier League

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