Derby County chairman Mel Morris has stressed that Frank Lampard's move to join Chelsea this summer is "not a done deal", adding that the club will look to appoint a new manager who can build on the 41-year-old's work at Pride Park if he moves to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues officially approached the Championship outfit after Maurizio Sarri was unveiled as the manager at Juventus, with Chelsea looking to appoint a new boss who can guide them through their two-window transfer ban.
It's widely speculated that it will only be a matter of time before Chelsea legend Lampard is unveiled at Stamford Bridge, but Derby chief Morris insists that there's still hope he will remain in the East Midlands next season.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm hoping this guy is going to manage us next season," Morris told talkSPORT (via BBC Sport).
"I'm not giving up hope on that at the moment."
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard had been linked with the role at Derby County if Lampard does agree to leave, although he has apparently already turned down the chance to leave Scottish giants Rangers to move south of the border.
Derby's chairman also branded the rumours as "absolute rubbish", but speaking about what's next for the club, Morris added that the club would look to continue their work with youth players by appointing a manager in a similar mould to Lampard.
"We have seen how things have come together, with a connection between academy and first team, a style of football," he added. "To me, the person we bring in if Frank moves on has to allow us to maintain the style of play.
"We want academy players in the first team as fast as possible while making sure they are good enough. A large part will be someone to keep the mission."
Darren Moore is the most recent name to be linked with the job at Pride Park, having become a free agent earlier this year after being released by West Brom in March.