Derby County owner Mel Morris believes it is a matter of time until Frank Lampard is announced officially as the new Chelsea manager.
The legendary former midfielder who impressively led Derby to the Championship play-off final in his first campaign as manager has already been granted permission to speak to Chelsea about the vacant position.
And although the Derby lost to Aston Villa at Wembley, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was convinced he is the man to replace Maurizio Sarri.
Asked if Lampard’s move to Stamford Bridge is only a matter of time, Morris told talkSPORT: “I’m assuming so.
“Obviously it’s a matter between Chelsea and Frank at this stage, but they’ve now got the opportunity to finalise matters.
“As we’ve said before, when Frank and I first met we discussed this very eventuality, the only difference is the timing of this.
“My belief at this point in time is that Frank and Chelsea need to have the time to finalise the transaction between them.
“You could say they’ve had plenty of time, but in fairness Frank was away on vacation – and a well-deserved one after a pretty tough season – and he didn’t come back until Friday, so I think that has been a big factor.”
Lampard is widely expected to take assistant manager Jody Morris with him to Chelsea but he has also reportedly been in contact with Gianfranco Zola.
Derby are already working to find Lampard’s replacement as former PSV Eindhoven manager Phillip Cocu is among those linked with the role.
And Morris suggested they could even make an appointment in time for their pre-season trip to Florida.
“He have [started looking for a new boss], and we will now accelerate those efforts,” added the Pride Park chief.
“Obviously there’s a lot of activity expected to go on during the course of this week. We’re still very keen to get something sorted out in terms of the forthcoming tour to Florida.”
Derby County take on United Soccer League side Sarasota Metropolis in a friendly game on July 10.