Lampard cools Chelsea links after Derby's play-off heartbreak

Frank Lampard has refused to indulge speculation he could become Chelsea's new manager following Derby County's Championship play-off final defeat to Aston Villa on Monday.

Blues legend Lampard has been heavily linked with a return to Stamford Bridge to replace Maurizio Sarri, who has been tipped for the Juventus job following Massimiliano Allegri's surprise departure.

Lampard, whose first season as a manager ended in disappointment with a 2-1 defeat to Villa at Wembley, would not be drawn on the speculation and says he will speak to Rams owner Mel Morris in the coming days about his future.

"I'm not interested in the speculation," he said. "I'll sit down with Mel Morris over the next few days. I've got a two-year contract and I love working here.

"After my first year and the opportunity this club gave me it's massively important that everyone understands that is my overriding feeling.

"So that's where I am. I'll go away tonight and have a couple of beers with the lads and the staff, and afterwards we'll talk about where we go forward."

Villa's win ends a three-year stay in the Championship and boss Dean Smith believes the club are now back in their rightful place.

"The potential for the football club is massive," he said. "I have been asked how it feels right now? I think it feels right. 

"It feels right that Aston Villa are in the Premier League. I think the history of the football club, the size of the football club, the fanbase it has, I believe it is a Premier League club. 

"It's not me speaking with a supporter's head on. It's just the history that tells you that.

"But, unfortunately, we have had some hard years as we've tried to get back into the Premier League. 

"The players and owners deserve what they are going to get. The potential with the owners that we have is massive."

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