18th June, 2019
Harry Redknapp is confident nephew Frank Lampard will be appointed Chelsea’s new head coach, despite Derby County’s attempt to tie him down to a new deal.
Lampard is the front runner to succeed Maurizio Sarri in the Stamford Bridge dugout following the Italian’s switch to Serie A champions Juventus.
But Derby are reluctant to let the legendary Chelsea midfielder return to his former club in a coaching capacity just a year into his three-year contract at Pride Park.
The Championship side, who suffered defeat to Aston Villa in this past season’s play-off final, are reportedly in discussions with Lampard over extending his deal and chairman Mel Morris said on Monday no approach has yet been made by Chelsea.
Redknapp expects Lampard to land his dream job, however, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “If Chelsea come calling, it’s a difficult one for him to turn down.
“In my personal opinion, he’ll be the manager of Chelsea. It looks to me like it’s going to happen.
“It’s a no-lose situation unless he finishes outside the top six. Anything in the top six would be OK, but [qualifying for] the Champions League would be a good season.
“No one is expecting him to finish first or second, third maybe. If he makes the Champions League next year, he’s going to be a success.”
Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer and won three Premier League titles with the club during his playing days, as well as the Champions League in 2012.
And Redknapp, who has managed the likes of Portsmouth, West Ham United, Southampton, Tottenham and QPR, urged Lampard to take the job if he is offered it.
“He’s a true legend at Chelsea, one of the greatest players in the club’s history,” he said. “It may not come along again, you never know in football, the opportunity is there for him to go back now.
“He has a house around the corner from the training ground, his wife works in London.”
Chelsea are banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows, potentially giving some of the youngsters in their squad a chance to shine.
“Maybe it’s time for someone who is going to be bold enough to play those young players,” Redknapp said. “[Lampard] went to Derby, he brought young players in, Derby got to the play-off final with a few kids.
“It could be an interesting time for Chelsea, they are going to have to play some of their kids, give them a go.
“We keep talking about how good these kids are, they’re playing for England Under-17, Under-19, so get them in the first team, let’s see them play.
“Chelsea have a great group of young players, it might be a good chance to throw three or four of them in. You may have something special there.”