Lampard, 41, looks set to return to take his seat in the Stamford Bridge dugout after Chelsea were granted permission to talk to the current Derby boss.
Hailed as the “standout candidate” when he was appointed to replace Gary Rowett at Pride Park last summer, Lampard had signed a three-year deal to help take the Rams back into the Premier League.
While his side came up short when beaten by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, Lampard impressed with his fresh management style – and few would begrudge him a celebratory toast after Derby ended Leeds’ involvement as ‘Spygate’ came full circle. The young English coach was now very much on the radar.
Lampard is Chelsea’s record goalscorer and won 11 major honours during a 13-year spell in west London. That glittering array of medals will, though, only buy him so long to deliver – both at home and in Europe when the Blues’ return to the Champions League next season.
A product of West Ham’s fabled academy, Lampard – under the tutelage and guidance of coach and father Frank Lampard Senior and Hammers boss and uncle Harry Redknapp – quickly showed his talent.
A move to Chelsea beckoned in 2001 before Roman Abramovich’s billions helped the Blues forge a team good enough to challenge for honours.
But, for all the money splashed by the Russian oligarch, Lampard’s place in the Chelsea midfield remained largely unchallenged.
The England international would lift three Premier League trophies, four FA Cups and two League Cups as well as the Champions League and the Europa League – every major honour on offer to a player in the English game.
Lampard remains Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, his tally of 211 taking him past the long-standing mark of Bobby Tambling. He came second only to Didier Drogba in a 2012 fans’ poll to find the best player in the club’s history.
Capped 106 times by England after making his debut in October 1999, part of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’, Lampard’s international career is likely to be remembered mostly for a goal that never was.
A typical long-range effort crashed in off the underside of the crossbar to draw England level against Germany in their 2010 World Cup last-16 clash in Bloemfontein, where they had trailed 2-0.
The goal, though, was not awarded by referee Jorge Larrionda despite the ball clearly bouncing over the line.
England went on to lose 4-1 and crash out of another tournament which they had entered with overbearing pressure to succeed.
Lampard eventually left Chelsea in the summer of 2014, and looked set for a switch to New York City FC in Major League Soccer.
It was a move, though, which would controversially see him first line up for the MLS franchise’s parent club Manchester City. During March 2015, Lampard made his 600th Premier League appearance, the second player to do so after Ryan Giggs.
After finally hanging up his boots following the end of his contract with New York City FC, Lampard worked in the media before making his first tentative steps into management at Derby, who finished sixth in the Championship to earn a shot at promotion.
Off the field, Lampard was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours, while the former Brentwood School pupil with a GSCE A* in Latin has also penned a series of children’s novels around ‘Frankie’s Magic Football’.
Throw in a high-scoring MENSA test earlier in his career and it becomes apparent Lampard is more rounded than your average footballer.
His wife Christine gave birth to daughter Patricia in September last year, Lampard’s third child.
Chelsea fans will be hoping to soon toast more new arrivals with trophies in the Stamford Bridge cabinet.
Newcastle have begun their search for a new manager after announcing that Rafael Benitez will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.
Benitez, 59, has spent just over three years in charge at St James’ Park since replacing Steve McClaren in March 2016.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the possible contenders to replace the Spaniard.
Former Rangers, Everton and Arsenal midfielder Arteta has been learning his trade as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City since 2016 and was strongly linked to the vacancy at Arsenal following Arsene Wenger’s departure before Unai Emery was appointed.
Howe has enjoyed tremendous success on a limited budget at Bournemouth, a quality which could make him attractive to Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. Whether he would want to make the move north following an unsuccessful spell at Burnley remains to be seen.
Monk is available following his sacking by Birmingham, where he kept the club in the Sky Bet Championship last season despite a deduction of nine points for a breach of the football League’s profitability and sustainability rules. Has managed four clubs in little more than five years.
Mourinho would be the high-profile appointment many Newcastle fans appear to crave, but whether he would be willing to work with a limited budget under Ashley is up for debate. Currently enjoying time away from football following his sacking by Manchester United.
Sacked by Brighton despite keeping the club in the Premier League, Hughton has experience of working under Ashley before, leading Newcastle to the Championship title in 2010 but then being sacked in December that year with the club 11th in the top flight.
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Rafael Benitez will be considering his options after it was announced he will be leaving his post as Newcastle manager when his contract expires on June 30.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at where the Spaniard could work next.
Chinese Super League
With contract negotiations at Newcastle appearing fraught in recent weeks, Benitez has been heavily linked with a big-money move to China. Reports claim the 59-year-old has been offered £12 million per year to take over at Dalian Yifang. This would make him the highest-paid manager in China. There has been little indication as yet, however, that Benitez is tempted.
Benitez’s Newcastle exit comes five days after it was announced Luis Enrique was standing down as manager of the Spain national team for personal reasons. Enrique’s assistant, Robert Moreno, has taken over and is due to lead them through to Euro 2020, but Spain have now had four managers in the past year and appointing another one, if results are bad, is hardly inconceivable.
It seems unlikely, but a return to Chelsea is a possibility. The London club are looking for a new manager after Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus. Frank Lampard has been heavily tipped for the job, but there has been no significant development on that front in the week since Sarri’s departure. Benitez boasts the same credentials that attracted Chelsea to him when he had a stint as interim boss at Stamford Bridge in 2012/13. That spell yielded Europa League success. The downside was that he never truly won over the fans due to his past Liverpool connections, and that would count against him again.
Other Premier League club
It is thought Benitez would prefer to stay in England. His family are settled in the country and are still based on Merseyside following his successful time at Liverpool from 2004 to 2010. But, Chelsea aside, there are no big jobs currently available. He would have to bide his time and wait for an opportunity. His move to Newcastle shows it need not be a top-six club, but he would look for somewhere with notable stature. He would surely also consider openings in La Liga or Serie A should they arise.
Stranger things have happened. If Newcastle struggle to find a new boss, or their much talked about, on-off takeover ever happens, maybe an olive branch could be offered. It would certainly be popular with supporters.
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