Claude Makelele leaves as coach of Belgian club Eupen

Published Jun. 14, 2019 11:07 a.m. ET

EUPEN, Belgium (AP) — Claude Makelele has left as manager of Belgian top-tier club Eupen amid speculation he could be part of a new coaching team at Chelsea.

Qatar-owned Eupen says Makelele leaves after two seasons though he will have "a new role as ambassador for social projects until the 2022 World Cup."

Makelele says he is "obviously sad to leave" while letting the club "take a new approach and direction."

The former France midfielder, who played in the 2006 World Cup runner-up team, won two Premier League titles at Chelsea after joining from Real Madrid in 2003.

His time at Chelsea ended after the 2008 Champions League final loss to Manchester United.

Makelele's former teammate Petr Cech is expected to be announced as Chelsea's sporting director, and Frank Lampard could return as coach replacing Maurizio Sarri, who is set to leave for Juventus.