CHELSEA have made an amazing last-ditch attempt to get Maurizio Sarri to stay on as boss.
Juventus want to make the Italian their new manager and Sarri has said he is homesick.
But there is a current stand-off, with Chelsea wanting Sarri, 60, to reconsider his future after he delivered a third-place finish in the Premier League and won the Europa League.
With Champions League football delivered and his methods beginning to work, members of the Blues hierarchy feel that the best option is for Sarri to stay rather than to lose another manager.
Some of Sarri’s coaching staff are desperate for them all to go to Juve to try and win the Serie A title.
But currently Chelsea are unwilling to sack him and pay the £5million compensation for the remaining two years of his contract.
He signed a three-year contract when he joined last summer, replacing the sacked Antonio Conte.
Frank Lampard, Max Allegri and even Jose Mourinho are potential successors to Sarri at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard, along with his Derby assistant Jody Morris, is the fans’ choice to take over.
But Chelsea are yet to make an official approach to Derby.
Chelsea are also keen on England No2 Steve Holland, and if they did turn to Lampard, his experience would be a valuable addition to the staff.
ENGLAND NO2 NOT AN OPTION
But Holland, who was No2 to former Blues managers Mourinho and Conte, would take convincing to leave his job under Gareth Southgate — especially with the European Championships next summer.
The prospect of being part of England’s home games at Wembley — rekindling memories of Euro 96 — is a huge part of Holland’s thinking.
Lampard, 40, has impressed his old club in his rookie season as a manager, guiding his club to the Championship play-off final where they lost to Aston Villa.
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He took on Chelsea youngsters Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, playing them regularly on the road to Wembley.
But Derby have had no formal approach from Chelsea, or any other club.
Another Chelsea legend Petr Cech will rejoin the club as Sporting Director next month.