Frank Lampard is set for a stunning return to Chelsea as interim manager until the end of the season, according to reports.
Lampard is said to have staged talks with the west London club and could be in position to take charge for their next fixture at Wolves on Saturday.
Chelsea are without a manager after Graham Potter was sacked on Sunday.
Lampard was dismissed as head coach at Stamford Bridge in January 2021. He took over at Everton but lost his job in January after less than a year in the role.
But the 44-year-old, Chelsea’s record scorer, attended his former side’s goalless draw against Liverpool on Tuesday and is reportedly on the verge of being handed the temporary managerial reins.
The development comes after interim boss Bruno Saltor said Chelsea’s co-sporting directors have met with the players to explain the club’s strategy in their search for a new manager.
Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart addressed the squad at the team’s Cobham training base on Monday to brief them on the circumstances surrounding Potter’s removal and plans for the immediate future.
The pair are leading the recruitment process to find a replacement for Potter, who was sacked after only 31 games in charge.
Lampard could step in until the end of the season, with possible complications surrounding the contract situation of one of the leading contenders Julian Nagelsmann, who was sacked by Bayern Munich in March.
The PA news agency understands that another front-runner, ex-Spain coach Luis Enrique, flew into London on Wednesday to meet with club officials as the hunt for a permanent appointment began in earnest.
Saltor said that, in the meantime, the club are keen to keep the playing staff up to date with developments.
“They (Winstanley and Stewart) are trying to describe the situation, trying to be supportive with the players,” said Saltor.
“It’s not an easy situation for anyone. What we need to do is just be together, communicate well. That’s what they tried.”