Close to Chelsea move, Lampard misses training with Derby

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              FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 file photo, former Chelsea player Frank Lampard does a lap of honour at half time during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London. Chelsea has mastered the art of thriving amid adversity more than any other English club. This offseason looks to be particularly challenging for Chelsea because of a transfer ban, the departure of its best player and the need for another new coach following the departure of Maurizio Sarri. The favorite to be Chelsea’s next manager is Frank Lampard, a club great who is its all-time top scorer with 211 goals. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)
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DERBY, England (AP) — Frank Lampard is edging closer to becoming Chelsea manager.

Lampard’s current team, Derby, says the former England midfielder has been excused from reporting back for preseason training on Monday and Tuesday “to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible.”

Lampard began talks last week with Chelsea, where he is the record scorer with 211 goals. He won three Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge from 2001-14.

Derby, which will play in the second-tier League Championship next season, says “on the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager.”

The Chelsea job has been vacant since Maurizio Sarri left for Italian champion Juventus last month.