Derby County have identified Phillip Cocu as the man they wish to be their next manager if, as expected, Frank Lampard leaves for the vacant managerial position at Chelsea.
Frank Lampard is widely expected to return to the Premier League giants, but this time as manager, after Maurizio Sarri’s departure.
Derby have confirmed that they have granted permission for Lampard to conclude talks with Chelsea ‘as soon as possible’ in a statement released earlier today.
The Sunday Times have reported that Derby are impressed by Phillip Cocu’s record both as a manager and a player.
Cocu’s most recent job was at Turkish side Fenerbache, after impressing when leading PSV Eindhoven to Eredivisie titles between 2014 to 2018.
As a player he captained Barcelona, helping the club win La Liga in 1999 and play in two Champions League semi-finals. He left the club in 2004 as a club record holder for the most league appearances by a foreign player.
Derby were, of course, beaten to the Sky Bet Championship promotion place by Aston Villa, the Villans progressing upwards to the Premier League. It was widely known that Chelsea would be looking to interview former midfield great Lampard after a successful first season in management with the Rams.
Lampard’s leaving, imminent as it is, leaves a gap to be filled. Whilst it isn’t confirmed as of yet, it does appear that former Barcelona and Holland great Cocu is one of those in with more than a chance of landing the Pride Park job. It will be an interesting week or so ahead for Rams fans.