Frank Lampard is closing in on the Chelsea job – and Derby have lined up a big-name replacement.
Derby have held talks with ex-Barcelona midfielder Phillip Cocu who is their No1 choice to replace Lampard who is expected to be installed at Stamford Bridge within the next 48 hours.
Lampard was excused from taking training at Derby with the Championship club now resigned to losing him as he is in advanced talks with Chelsea .
But Derby owner Mel Morris is making a very deliberate attempt to appoint another big name after Lampard to boost the club’s profile and interest with potential investors ready to put money into the club.
Ex-Holland star Cocu, 48, fits the bill perfectly as he played for Barcelona , managed PSV Eindhoven and most recently Fenerbahce.
Derby have looked at other names but it now looks increasingly likely to be Cocu ahead of the likes of Garry Monk and Chris Hughton who are available but Morris’s success with Lampard has convinced him to follow a similar path.
Lampard is in deep negotiations with Chelsea with the club and Morris said on talkSPORT it is a “matter of time” before he is confirmed.
The negotiations have been protracted with Lampard anxious to make sure that he is given time and patience at Stamford Bridge, especially with the club facing the extra obstacle of a transfer ban.