Frank Lampard eyes Premier League return as Crystal Palace manager

0
130

Frank Lampard could be offered a return to Premier League management after emerging as a leading contender to replace Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace.

Lampard has been out of work since January after being sacked by Chelsea, but is among the top candidates to be offered the Palace job if the South London club decide to replace Hodgson.

Hodgson’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and Palace have been deliberating over whether or not to make a change and who might succeed him.

Lampard is among Palace’s top choices and the 42-year-old is keen to resume his managerial career in the Premier League, following 18 months in charge of Chelsea.

It is understood that Lampard is not interested in becoming England Under-21 manager, although it is unclear whether or not he would immediately accept an offer from Palace or wait to assess his options.

Lampard would no doubt want assurances that he would be given the opportunity to try to progress Palace up the table, particularly as the club have 11 players waiting to find out whether or not their contracts will be renewed.

As reported by Telegraph Sport last month, Palace are planning a £50million summer overhaul that could see them sign between four or five new players and add a couple of high-profile loanees to their squad.

Lampard’s relationship with Chelsea will no doubt be an attraction to Palace in that regard, with players such as Billy Gilmour potentially available for loan and Chelsea ready to listen to offers for Tammy Abraham.

Sean Dyche has been heavily linked with the Palace post, as has Eddie Howe, but, for now at least, Lampard is believed to have moved ahead of both men on the club’s shortlist.

Chelsea have moved into the top four of the Premier League and reached the finals of the FA Cup and the Champions League since Lampard’s departure, but his successor, Thomas Tuchel, this week paid tribute to the work of the former midfielder.

Under Lampard, Chelsea managed to finish in last season’s top four and reach the FA Cup final without signing any players and progressed through the group stages of this season’s Champions League unbeaten before Tuchel’s arrival.

“Frank had an amazing record in the group stage of the Champions League,” said Tuchel. “[He] won all the FA Cup games. He’s laid the foundation to get us to finals and I will never forget it, we don’t feel ashamed or have any fear to speak it out loud.

“It felt like that on the first day. I am aware Frank created his own legacy as a player and wanted to make it bigger as a coach. We stepped in halfway through the season and tried to fulfil the job he had begun.”

Tuchel exchanged messages with Lampard shortly after he replaced the former England international in west London, but they have not spoken since.

“Frank resembles everything you think about Chelsea,” added Tuchel. “You think about Frank Lampard, the way he is, how he played football.

“This shows his character and the message he sent was a pleasure to receive. We had a message a couple of days after we arrived but nothing more.”

TELEGRAPH