Lampard was officially excused from Derby County preseason which began Monday, the club confirmed, and Derby even went so far as to affirm they are acting under the assumption that the 41-year-old will indeed move to Stamford Bridge.
According to the tabloid reports, Lampard’s Chelsea contract will earn him a base salary in the $5-6 million per year range plus a host of incentives, including a $1.3 million bonus for Champions League qualification. The only question at this point is whether Lampard will convince Shay Given, an assistant with him at Derby, to join him at Chelsea. It’s possible Given may stay at Derby as goalkeeping coach.
Derby will be owed $5 million in compensation for Lampard’s signature as well, the Mirror reports.
Lampard’s only coaching experience is his one year at Derby County, where he led the team to the playoff final, where the Rams fell to Aston Villa. The former Chelsea midfielder is the Blues’ all-time leading scorer with 211 goals during his 11-year career with the club.
The news ends weeks of speculation that Manchester United would cut their losses after losing Ibrahimovic to a torn ACL, which will likely keep him out of action until January 2018 at the earliest, when he’ll be 36-years old.
35 – At 35y 125d old, Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the oldest ever player to reach 15 goals in a Premier League season. Proven. pic.twitter.com/xh9XuZMSJo
In his one season at Old Trafford, the wily veteran striker still managed to score 17 Premier League goals and 28 goals in all competitions. It will be difficult for Manchester United to replace that production immediately, although potentially signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid could help bridge the goal gap.
It’s unclear where Ibrahimovic moves next. He’s been oft-rumored for a move to Major League Soccer or to China, but he could sit on the sidelines and await his next move while he rehabs his current injury.
Also of note is the release of U.S. Under-19 centerback Danny Barbir, who joined West Bromwich Albion in 2015. The Romanian-American dual national played mostly with the West Bromwich U-18s and reserves but never made a first team gameday squad.
Here’s a look at all the players set to be released from their contracts this summer:
Despite a disappointing 1-1 draw with Stoke City, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes his team put on its best performance of the season, even better than the 4-1 win over Leicester City just last weekend.
“It’s simple. Best United performance all season,” Mourinho said after the match. “3 or 4-nil at halftime, 6 or 7-nil at the end of the game, but the result is 1-1. That’s football, that’s very undeserved, but I repeat, much better performance than against Leicester, because against Leicester the result made more than the performance, and today was exactly the opposite. The best performance by far; six, seven, eight great chances to win the game, even after the 1-nil.”
Stoke City goalkeeper Lee Grant, on loan from Derby and in for the benched Shay Given, put on a spectacular performance, keeping out Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba on numerous occasions. However, United will also feel their wastefulness cost them points as well, with Ibrahimovic striking an early chance straight at Grant, and Pogba clattering a header off the crossbar as time wound down.
Anthony Martial scored United’s only goal just two minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, but it was far less than United and Mourinho felt they deserved, having dominated the entire first half.