Chelsea appoint Lampard as interim manager


Chelsea have appointed Frank Lampard as caretaker head coach until the end of the season following Sunday’s dismissal of Graham Potter, the club announced on Thursday.

Lampard took Chelsea training on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game at Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has returned to the club he managed until 2021 while the search for a long-term appointment continues with negotiations ongoing with a number of candidates to replace Potter.

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Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer with 211, Lampard has been out of work since leaving Everton in January. He previously took charge at Chelsea in June 2019 and led them to fourth in the Premier League and the FA Cup final where they were beaten by Arsenal. He was sacked the following season and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

“We are delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge,” co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said in a statement. “Frank is a Premier League Hall of Famer and a legend at this club.

“As we continue our thorough and exhaustive process for a permanent head coach, we want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season. We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.

“We have an important game against Wolves on Saturday and then we will turn our attention to our Champions League quarter-final in Madrid next week. We are all going to give Frank our full backing as we aim to get the best possible outcome from all our remaining games.”

During his time as a player at Stamford Bridge, Lampard won the Premier League three times as well as the Champions League and Europa League. He also won the FA Cup four times and the League Cup twice.

Sources told ESPN that five to seven individuals have been identified as candidates to replace Potter, who was sacked after less than seven months in charge following the 2-0 Premier League defeat against Aston Villa that saw Chelsea drop into the bottom half of the table.

The club have made contact with Julian Nagelsmann, sacked last month by Bayern Munich, and Luis Enrique, who flew to London on Wednesday for what sources describe as positive talks over the position.

Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was also thought to be under consideration, but as of Tuesday no contact had been made with the 51-year-old.

The recruitment process is being led by co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart, who informed Potter in face-to-face talks at the club’s Cobham training base that his contract would be terminated with unanimous backing of the board

Sources have told ESPN that Nagelsmann would ideally like to wait until the summer to make a decision on his next role.

Information from James Olley was used in this report.

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