Frank Lampard: Derby manager excused from training for Chelsea talks
Derby have excused boss Frank Lampard from reporting for pre-season training duties, with the club expecting him to be offered the Chelsea manager's job.
Lampard will not be at training on Monday or Tuesday as talks continue with the Blues, where he spent 13 years as a player.
Derby made the decision so the move can be "concluded as soon as possible".
If Lampard leaves, the Championship side expect to have a replacement confirmed by the end of the week.
Rams assistant manager Jody Morris will also be absent from training.
It is widely assumed Morris will move to Chelsea with Lampard, should the former England midfielder be given the manager's job and succeed Maurizio Sarri, who left Stamford Bridge to take over at Juventus last month.
Derby's players will largely be doing fitness tests over the next couple of days, so the club feel they can operate without anyone in overall charge.
The squad are due to fly to Florida for a training camp on Thursday.
A Derby statement released on Monday said: "The first few days of pre-season training will be focused on fitness training and will continue as planned under the guidance of the fitness, medical, conditioning and sports science teams at the club's Training Centre."
Ex-Chelsea captain John Terry, now assistant manager at Aston Villa, said there is "no-one better equipped" to manage the west London club than his former team-mate.
Lampard made 648 appearances for the Blues, winning 11 major trophies with them, after joining from boyhood club West Ham for a fee of £11m in 2001.