FRANK LAMPARD was made in Chelsea.
Lampard, captain when they got their hands on the European Cup in 2012, is coming home.
It is destiny, with the club’s record goalscorer on the verge of being appointed Chelsea manager after a year at Derby.
Super Frank — idolised, lionised, worshipped by Chelsea fans — is about to land one of the biggest gigs in football.
He will fulfil an ambition by returning to Chelsea to stand in the technical area at Stamford Bridge.
They will love this down the King’s Road, with Lampard’s name still rolling off the Matthew Harding and the Shed on matchday.
When Chelsea win, it will be down to Lampard’s meticulous planning and mercurial, talismanic touches.
When they lose, it will be the fault of the cheats, the scoundrels and the backstabbers polluting the dressing room. That is how it will work.
Lampard is Chelsea through and through, flawless in the eyes of fans who watched him surpass Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals in a blue shirt to set a new mark of 211.
He will wear a razor-sharp club suit from now on, with his name added to a prestigious roll call of managers during the Roman Abramovich era.
Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Rafa Benitez, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri have all been and gone.
It is Lampard’s turn now, the populist choice after the fans demanded the removal of Sarri and his stodgy tactics.
He is inheriting a notoriously difficult dressing room, a club in transition as they prepare for life beyond Eden Hazard following his move to Real Madrid.
The Blues’ transfer ban is another element, but Lampard’s promotion and belief in young players will carry weight in the negotiations.
Chelsea kids Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, plus Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, thrived under Lampard’s leadership at Pride Park.
Lamps, one year into his managerial career, would have taken this job, whatever the circumstances.
The former midfielder, who turns 41 next week, is the first English appointment since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
When it is finally confirmed, he will be the same age as the Special One when he took the job first time around.
Mourinho had a European Cup by then, arriving from Porto after walloping Monaco 3-0 in the Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen.
Lamps has even survived Mourinho’s baffling attempt to return to Chelsea for an impossible third spell.
The former Manchester United boss has been working away behind the scenes in a Machiavellian-style stunt to manoeuvre himself into position.
Lampard, who regards Ancelotti as the best manager he has ever worked for, has seen off the most successful coach in Chelsea history.
He left Derby where he found them — in the Championship — after they were beaten in the play-off final by Dean Smith’s progressive Aston Villa.
By then Lampard had a whiff the Chelsea job was coming his way, incentivised after learning Sarri’s coaching staff had given notice on their London pads.
It surely meant Sarri was going too.
His departure to Juventus, influenced by the hostility of Chelsea’s fans, opened the door for Lampard.
He is about to walk through it because Petr Cech will soon return to the Blues as sporting director. Cech, during exhaustive talks with Abramovich and CEO Marina Granovskaia, made a compelling case for Lampard.
The former England star is short on managerial experience, but they talked it through and came to a sensible conclusion.
Pep Guardiola spent a year coaching Barcelona B and was promoted to the first team at 38. He hasn’t done too badly.
Glenn Hoddle, two years as player-manager at Swindon, was 36 when he took the same role at Chelsea.
Ruud Gullit was 34 when he succeeded him and went on to win the 1997 FA Cup playing “sexy football”.
Gianluca Vialli succeeded him at 32 and won five trophies — FA Cup, League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup, Community Shield and Super Cup — as Chelsea manager.
This is a different era, but the Blues needed to make a favourable choice after Sarri made it clear he could not stay.
They tried to convince the Italian earlier this week with a final, last-ditch attempt to persuade him to carry on. He was unmoved.
The reality is that Sarri has been scarred by the experience and is hurting after Chelsea fans turned on him so viciously during a last-gasp 2-1 win at Cardiff in March.
He still took them in to the Champions League and left them with the Europa League trophy after smashing Arsenal to bits in the Baku final last month.
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It gives Lampard a headstart, with a return to European football’s top table critical to the club’s long-term vision.
Lampard will soon be part of that, walking into a dressing room to meet up with some familiar faces.
He left in 2014, exiting reluctantly after his relationship with Mourinho soured.
When Lampard returns as manager, it will feel like he has never been away.
This post written by Marc Mayo originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.