Abramovich ‘personally reaches out to Lampard’ in bid to bring Chelsea legend in as manager
Lampard, Chelsea's top goalscorer in history, looks certain to replace Italian manager Sarri in charge of the West London club ahead of the start of next season after being promised at least two transfer windows to with which to implant his philosophy into the team by owner billionaire Russian owner Abramovich.
Per reports in The Sunday Times, Abramovich telephoned Lampard personally to give him assurances that he would be given sufficient time to succeed in a club known for its high turnover of managers during the Russian's 16-year ownership tenure.Also on rt.com OFFICIAL: Juventus confirm Maurizio Sarri as manager
It is understood that Abramovich assured Lampard he would be afforded two transfer windows to succeed which, coupled with the two-window transfer ban currently being levied against Chelsea, would mean at least a two-year term as the club's boss.
Former Chelsea manager Sarri guided the Blues to a Europa League triumph and secured qualification to the Champions League with a third-placed finish last season.
The 60-year-old former Napoli manager was confirmed as the replacement for Max Allegri in charge of Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus on Sunday.
Lampard's employer Derby County are understood to be keen to discuss terms for a new contract after guiding the side to the Championship Playoffs in his first season in charge, though it is unlikely that Lampard will seriously consider any offer in advance of an official Chelsea approach.
The Blues' former number 8 is a hugely popular figure at Stamford Bridge. He contributed significantly to the most successful spell in the club's history, winning practically every trophy available in the club game.
His Derby side contained two Chelsea loanees, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, young players who are expected to be given first-team opportunities should an on-going appeal against the impending transfer ban fail.
Lampard will also be deprived of the services of Belgian superstar Eden Hazard who recently inked a big-money deal with Real Madrid.
The new Chelsea manager's first official match in charge will come in the UEFA Super Cup against Champions League winners Liverpool on August 14.
Abramovich was not seen at any of the team's Premier League games last season, after suffering visa issues in the fallout between the UK and Russia over the Skripal poisoning saga.
However, he was present at the Europa League final victory over Arsenal in Baku, and figures in the club hierarachy have frequently asserted that the Russian is committed to the club, despite persistent rumors of a potential sale.Also on rt.com ‘You’d never say no’: UK's richest man not ruling out bid to buy Chelsea from Abramovich