Frank Lampard was excused from pre-season training duties with Derby County this morning as he continues to discuss the vacant managerial position at Chelsea.
Lampard is hot favourite to take the head coach role at Stamford Bridge, where he had a legendary playing career before moving into management at Pride Park, with the Rams seemingly resigned to the move being completed in the coming days.
And as the rest of the Rams squad returned to Moor Farm this morning to begin pre-season preparations, Lampard was missing with assistant Jody Morris and coach Chris Jones also believed to have stayed away.
A club statement read: "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.
"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."