Frank Lampard has been officially confirmed as Chelsea's new caretaker manager until the end of the season.
The news comes as a surprise despite days of speculation and rumours about the move, with FourFourTwo reporting on the possibility after Lampard was spotted at Stamford Bridge for the match against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Graham Potter left Chelsea by mutual consent last weekend following a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, and with the side languishing in mid-table, despite spending hundreds of millions of pounds on new players. For midweek, coach Bruno Saltor took charge of the team.
Lampard – a club legend at Chelsea after spending 13 years at the club as a player – previously managed the Blues for two years between 2019 and 2021.
However, he was sacked in mid-season and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who went on to win the Champions League four months later.
Lampard then spent a year as Everton manager until January 2023, when he was replaced by Sean Dyche.
His first games will be away to Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, before a Champions League quarter-final trip to Real Madrid on Wednesday.
With some big name managers currently out of work, including Luis Enrique, Julian Nagelsmann and Zinedine Zidane, it was expected that Chelsea might immediately search out a permanent replacement.
But in a statement on Thursday afternoon, the club said: "Chelsea FC has announced that Frank Lampard has been named Caretaker Manager until the end of the season.
"The move marks a return to Stamford Bridge for Frank who enjoyed an illustrious playing career with the Blues, winning the Premier League on three occasions and the UEFA Champions League in Munich. He managed the club for 84 games, including guiding us to an FA Cup final."
A statement from co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali added:
"We are delighted to welcome Frank back to Stamford Bridge. Frank is a Premier League Hall of Famer and a legend at this club.
"As we continue our thorough and exhaustive process for a permanent head coach, we want to provide the club and our fans with a clear and stable plan for the remainder of the season. We want to give ourselves every chance of success and Frank has all of the characteristics and qualities we need to drive us to the finish line.
"We have an important game against Wolves on Saturday and then we will turn our attention to our Champions League quarter-final in Madrid next week. We are all going to give Frank our full backing as we aim to get the best possible outcome from all our remaining games."
Frank Lampard returns as Caretaker Manager until the end of the season. 🤝April 6, 2023
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Conor Pope is the former Online Editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing all digital content. He plays football regularly, and has a large, discerning and ever-growing collection of football shirts from around the world.
He supports Blackburn Rovers and holds a season ticket with south London non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. His main football passions include Tugay, the San Siro and only using a winter ball when it snows.