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25 Jan, 2021 15:44

Growing rift between Frank Lampard and Marina Granovskaia hastened Chelsea manager’s abrupt exit – reports

Growing rift between Frank Lampard and Marina Granovskaia hastened Chelsea manager’s abrupt exit – reports

Frank Lampard clashed with club director Marina Granovskaia over transfer deals and his treatment of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga before the club eventually showed him the door, according to reports.

Chelsea's decision to sack manager Frank Lampard reportedly came after a month-long search for a replacement after the working relationship between the Chelsea manager and Granovskaia became increasingly fractured after a series of disagreements, according to The Athletic.

As a result, the club had decided to move on from Lampard at the turn of the year, with supremo Granovskaia spending the month of January searching the market for a suitable name to replace him.

Now, with the club thought to be closing in on former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have confirmed Lampard's sacking after a 19-month stint that saw him attempt to overhaul the squad, only for his new signings to fail to deliver on the pitch.

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Lampard brought in German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner for $97 million and $61 million respectively, but neither man has made the sort of impact expected of them following their big-money arrivals in the English capital.

Lampard looked closer to home for another of big-money signings, as he shelled out $52 million on England left back Ben Chilwell, who subsequently struggled to carry his prior form for Leicester City into the Chelsea lineup.

That perceived failure in the transfer market put Lampard on borrowed time with Granovskaia and, despite an encouraging first season that saw Chelsea finish fourth, a patchy campaign so far in 2020-21 piled additional pressure on the former Blues and England midfielder.

The cracks started to show last year when Lampard hinted that the club's bosses weren't keen to make key signings during the January transfer window.

And tensions rose further after Lampard opted to drop the club's record signing, goalkeeper Kepa, from his team in the final few months of the season following the Spanish stopper's poor form and high-profile mistakes in key games.

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At the time, Lampard reportedly told club bosses he wanted to draft in a replacement, but was told to try to help the off-form goalkeeper regain his confidence. Eventually, however, Lampard was given the green light to sign Edouard Mendy as Kepa's replacement.

Lampard's push to sign West Ham's Declan Rice – a player Chelsea released as a teenager – for a fee thought to be in excess of $96 million also did not sit well with the higher-ups at Stamford Bridge, who felt a backlash against such an outlay for a player they let go for free would cause more issues for the club. A similar push to sign Burnley's James Tarkowski also fell on deaf ears as confidence in Lampard as a long-term managerial solution began to wane.

It all came to a head by the end of the year, when Granovskaia started scoping out potential replacements. And now, having identified Tuchel as their number one target, it seems a new era at Stamford Bridge is just around the corner.