June 17 (UPI) -- Chelsea has been linked to Frank Lampard after manager Maurizio Sarri bolted to become boss at Juventus.
Sources told ESPN that the Premier League club plans to offer the Derby County manager a three-year contract. Sources told Sky Sports that Lampard is the Blues' "preferred candidate" to replace Sarri.
Lampard, 40, was hired as Derby County boss in 2018. The club has opened talks regarding a possible extension for Lampard, who led the squad to the Championship playoff final last season.
Derby County chairman Mel Morris told BBC Sport that Chelsea has not approached his club about Lampard's availability.
"We have made it very clear to everyone, but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain Frank for the long term," Morris said. "If Chelsea want to hire Frank, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that.
"In the meantime, we will continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank for him to know how much he is wanted by everyone associated with the club."
Chelsea and Juventus officially announced Sarri's move on Sunday.
"In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant," Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said in a news release.
Sarri had two years remaining on his contract with the Blues. Chelsea finished in third place this season in the Premier League, trailing first-place Manchester City and Champions League champions Liverpool.
Lampard played for Chelsea from 2001 to 2014, holding the captain's armband multiple times during that tenure.