Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard is believe to be in pole position to take the empty manager's seat at Derby, and could be appointed the Rams' new boss as early as next week. The club have received an overwhelming amount of candidates for the job, but Lampard is the favourite.
Lampard has seemed close to taking the big step into management for a while now. Having spent his retirement studying his coaching badges alongside some highly rated punditry appearances, the former Chelsea midfielder has attracted interest from both Ipswich and Oxford.
However, according to the Mirror, Lampard is the new favourite to take over at Derby following a successful interview with club owner Mel Morris. The millionaire has claimed that over 20 serious candidates have applied for the position, but he wants to hire an exciting manager to take the reins following Gary Rowett's departure for Stoke.
Though Championship experience was initially preferred (the likes of Mick McCarthy have applied for the position), Lampard's CV has supposedly wowed the decision makers at Pride Park.
Morris is also focused on youth, and believes that Lampard can do a good job of transitioning players between youth setups and the first team - which will be receiving a budget cut this summer.
Despite the lack of funds being invested into the playing squad ahead of the new season, Morris is still confident of a promotion push. This season saw the Rams knocked out of the play-offs by Fulham in the semi-final; a 1-0 lead in the first leg gave the club hope of making it to the final, but the Cottagers overcame the deficit in the second fixture, beating Derby 2-0.