Frank Lampard cools Chelsea speculation and reveals Derby are close to signing former Celtic defender

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard has distanced himself from speculation that he is the frontrunner to replace under-pressure Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

The Italian’s position is under scrutiny after a chastening 6-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, the Blues' heaviest loss since 1991.

However, Stamford Bridge favourite Lampard talked down the suggestion that he could be heading back to the club he represented as a player for 13 years.

“Bookmakers are not always right for starters, so I wouldn’t get excited about that,” he said during Monday’s press conference.

“Chelsea are certainly a club I respect and have a manager I respect.

“My job is here and I’m working very hard. All my thoughts are on Ipswich Town away on Wednesday.

“I hope to see Chelsea put some form together and turn their results around.”

He added: “With my Chelsea hat on, you have a feeling for it and it’s not nice.

“It doesn’t happen to Chelsea much, so when it does, it’s a shock. But let’s not forget they were up against a great Manchester City team - and I also had some good times there as a player.”

Lampard also gave an update on Derby’s proposed move for former Celtic centre-back Efe Ambrose, who left Hibernian in January and has since been training with the Pride Park outfit.

“It’s close to being finalised but not quite done, so I don’t want to jump the gun,” said Lampard.

Derby travel to Ipswich Town for their next Championship fixture on Wednesday night, with the Rams currently seventh in the table and eight points adrift of the automatic promotion spots.