CHELSEA plan to announce Frank Lampard as their new boss before the players return for pre-season training.
The squad are due to report back at Cobham next Friday before flying out to Dublin for two matches and then Japan for another double header.
And unless there is a hitch, the club legend will be confirmed as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement by then.
Lampard, 41, is on course to return to Stamford Bridge after Derby gave permission for Chelsea to speak to their former midfielder on Tuesday.
Talks are ongoing as the parties finalise the details of the contract and the Rams’ compensation package.
As revealed by SunSport, the ex-England hero is set to pen a three-year deal at his old stomping ground, worth £16.5million.
Lampard and wife Christine spent some time away on holiday in Saint-Tropez as he mulled over the next stage of his career.
He has spent just one season as a manager, leading Derby to the Championship play-off final where they were beaten by Aston Villa.
When he does return, Lampard will have plenty of familiar faces around him.
Former team-mate Petr Cech has already been appointed technical and performance adviser while his coaches at Derby Jody Morris, Shay Given and Chris Jones are set to follow him to West London.
And Claude Makelele is also being tipped for a return to the Bridge after quitting as boss of Belgian side Eupen.
Lampard will not be able to make any new signings until next summer due to Chelsea’s two-window transfer ban.
But Mateo Kovacic is set to make his switch from Real Madrid permanent in a £40m move – as long as the deal is completed before his loan expires on Sunday.
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And Lamps may have Callum Hudson-Odoi available earlier than first expected.
The winger, 18, ruptured his Achilles against Burnley in April but posted a video on Twitter this week showing him doing ball work already – he could be back in action as soon as early September.
With Eden Hazard sold, Hudson-Odoi will be desperate to try and fill his vacated boots.