Lampard is emerging as the leading candidate for Chelsea when the departure of Maurizio Sarri is confirmed, with the club’s former midfielder in line for an emotional return.
The 40 year-old lifted three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League during his time at Stamford Bridge and is now being targeted to take over just 12 months after becoming a manager.
But Derby are determined to play hardball in any potential negotiations and are protected by a hefty compensation figure, which increases in cost if a club competing in the Champions League makes an approach.
Lampard has two years remaining on his contract at Pride Park and it would require a fee of £4m to take him away from the Championship club.
Derby are understood to be relaxed about the situation and are still planning for pre-season with Lampard in charge, after he guided the club to the play-off final in his first campaign.
Since that defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley last month, Lampard has held a number of meetings with chairman Mel Morris and chief executive Stephen Pearce over squad additions and contract extensions for players. The latest meeting was in London on Thursday.
It is also believed that Morris is in talks with a few parties over potential investment into the club, which will allow Lampard more room to manoeuvre in the transfer market if he stays.
However, Derby are also aware that Lampard may find a return to Chelsea difficult to turn down if any formal approach does materialise. Derby are yet to receive any contact from Chelsea.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph before the play-off final, Morris admitted it was inevitable Lampard would eventually manage Chelsea.
He said: “I think it is just one of those things, because of the legend he was there as a player. The longer he is here at Derby with success, the easier it is to go there without risk to him because Chelsea is a big club with massive expectations.
“I would always be pleased we gave him the opportunity, proud of what he has achieved with us, and if that happened sooner rather than later I would just hope it works out for him. There would be absolutely no ill feeling and we’d understand it’s probably an opportunity he couldn’t turn down." SHARE THIS NEWS USING ANY OF THE BUTTON BELOW PLACE YOUR TEXT ADVERT BELOW ⬇⬇⬇