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Cocu on the brink of replacing Lampard as Derby boss

Philip Cocu is close to replacing Frank Lampard as Derby's new boss. Credit: PA

Philip Cocu is close to replacing Frank Lampard as Derby's new boss.

The former Netherlands international is expected to sign a four-year deal once Lampard completes his switch to Chelsea, PA understands.

Lampard is poised to return to Chelsea, where he played between 2001 and 2014, after a year as Derby manager which culminated in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final defeat to Aston Villa in May.

Cocu, who will become the Rams' seventh manager in four years, should join the squad for their pre-season trip to America later this week.

Reports in Holland suggest the 48-year-old will bring in Dutchman Twan Scheepers, who is currently assistant of PSV's Under-21 side. as his number two.

Cocu spent five years in charge at PSV, winning three Eredivisie titles, before moving to Fenerbahce last summer.

He lasted just 15 games, however, winning three times, and left in October after one of the worst starts to a season in the club's 111-year history.

As a player, he won 101 caps for the Netherlands, four Dutch titles with PSV and LaLiga with Barcelona.

Derby excuse Frank Lampard from pre-season training to continue Chelsea talks

Lampard had his first season in management last year at Derby Credit: PA

Frank Lampard has been excused from reporting back for pre-season training with Derby as he continues discussions about becoming Chelsea manager.

Rams boss Lampard was last week granted permission to speak to the Premier League club with a view to succeeding Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge.

Derby are searching for a new manager on the assumption the 41-year-old will leave Pride Park.

"Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible," read a statement on the club's official website.

"The first few days of pre-season training will be focused on fitness training and will continue as planned under the guidance of the fitness, medical, conditioning and sports science teams at the club's training centre.

"On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager."

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Derby boss Lampard calls Chelsea speculation 'irrelevant'

Frank Lampard will hold crunch talks with Derby owner Mel Morris this week after dismissing the constant speculation linking him with Chelsea Credit: PA

Frank Lampard will hold crunch talks with Derby owner Mel Morris this week after dismissing the constant speculation linking him with Chelsea as "irrelevant".

Lampard's impressive first season in management ended ultimately in disappointment after the Rams were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Yet his strong showing on his managerial debut has made Lampard a leading contender to take over at former club Chelsea should Maurizio Sarri leave this summer.

However, Lampard insisted: "I spoke to Mel three days before this game and we said we'll sit down and talk, and that any talk around that is irrelevant.

"I've got a two-year contract here, I've loved working here and I want to continue that, I want to continue progressing with the club.

"I have to say after my first year and the opportunity that this club gave me, it's massively important that everyone understands that's my overriding feeling. That's where I am.

"The squad will break up a bit, naturally. The loans go, whether we can get any of them back remains to be seen and a lot of players are out of contract so there's a lot of work to be done."

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