In January we speculated as to which club Frank Lampard could manage next following his sacking at Chelsea.
Just over two months later and the ever evolving managerial arena already looks different and, while it appears increasingly unlikely that Lampard won’t return to management this season, a number of intriguing possibilities could crop up in the summer.
With that said we’ve taken a look at where Lampard could venture next based on his current odds, courtesy of Paddy Power.
Let’s get into it...
England U21: 2/1
Aidy Boothroyd’s failure to progress a generation of talented England U21 players into the knockout stages of Euro 2021 looks to have cost him his job. His record of one win in his last two tournaments is pretty poor given the calibre of players he had at his disposal, meaning a contract renewal is unlikely this summer.
England U21s are in need of a new manager who will bring fresh ideas, passion, and tactical nous to the role. We’ve already speculated in detail as to who could succeed Boothroyd at the helm of England’s young guns, with Lampard one of the key contenders.
The former Chelsea and Derby manager blooded a number of young stars at both clubs, which makes him an attractive candidate. Plus, he already has the backing of former England teammate Jamie Carragher who told The Sportsman: “You actually look at the job of the under 21s, I almost think it would be perfect for someone like Frank Lampard.”
Crystal Palace: 3/1
While the imminent vacancy at England U21s is sure to appeal, Lampard is both fiercely competitive and confident in his own ability. He’ll have learnt a lot about himself from his spell at Chelsea and come the summer it will be six months (ish) since he left, which would have given him ample time to recharge and refocus.
Any Premier League opening is going to attract his interest. We can pretty much rule out a top-six club, but a return to the capital with Crystal Palace is certainly one to ponder considering that incumbent Roy Hodgson has not yet been offered a renewal to a contract which expires in a few months.
Lampard would no doubt be in the mix for the post, although he could face some pretty stiff competition from the likes of Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche, and maybe even John Terry.
Frank Lampard is unlikely to be short of options this summer
Lampard has already been linked with Bournemouth, who sacked Jason Tindall at the start of February. The job became available only a week after Lampard left Chelsea, and he reportedly wasn’t interested at the time.
In the end Jonathan Woodgate was appointed until the end of the season, yet whether he’ll remain in charge next term is open to debate.
There are many factors here but the managerial path Bournemouth choose to venture down this summer could well depend on what league they are playing in next season.
Should Woodgate’s contract not be renewed, expect Lampard - whose uncle Harry Redknapp managed the Cherries - to boomerang back into the frame alongside Thierry Henry who unlike a couple of months ago is now available for hire.
Furtherafield, could a trip to Glasgow be on the cards?
Celtic’s manager search is into its sixth week, and current evidence suggests the club are absolutely no closer to finding Neil Lennon’s successor. The next Celtic manager market is a complete lottery, but Lampard could prove to be a safer bet than most.
The job offers an excellent opportunity for the 42-year-old to get some silverware on his CV, while it would be absolutely fascinating to see him lock horns with his old on-field rival Steven Gerrard, who has just won Rangers the title.
He’s just had his fourth anniversary at the helm of Blackburn, yet Tony Mowbray’s future at the club is by no means secure.
Rovers are nearer to the Championship drop zone than the play-offs, pretty disappointing given that the club were 8th 10 games ago. The drop in form has put Mowbray under the spotlight, meaning a change in direction could be on the cards this summer.
Whether Lampard would be interested in a potential opening at Ewood Park is another matter.
Sheffield United: 14/1
Paul Heckingbottom was upgraded into the Sheffield United hot seat in the aftermath of Chris Wilder’s shock exit last month.
From the outside, it looks as if he’s merely keeping the seat warm until an external candidate comes in during the summer, although a positive series of results could change things.
Lampard is 14/1 to lead a charge back into the Premier League next season.
If Lampard has ambitions of entering into the international spectrum, his best bet is likely to be through the England U21s, as was the case with Gareth Southgate.
Southgate is bidding to lead the seniors to glory at the Euros this summer. He certainly has the squad talent but whether England can convert that into results on the pitch - especially against the traditional heavyweights - remains to be seen.
An underwhelming showing could see a switch-up in the dugout, with Lampard priced at 14/1 to succeed his fellow countryman.
In truth, this one seems unlikely, unless Graham Potter is lured somewhere else this summer.
Similarly, Scott Parker doesn’t appear to be going anywhere else soon, even if Fulham are relegated down to the Championship.
There’s a feeling that Lampard has unfinished business at Derby, with whom he led to the play-off final a couple of seasons ago.
However, his old England teammate Wayne Rooney is the man now tasked with bringing success back to Pride Park.
Mark Warburton’s contract reportedly expires in the summer, but while there have been improvements at the R’s if Lampard does fancy a return to the Championship he’ll want it to be at a club with real promotion potential.
Could be a possibility if Gerrard left, but the chances of that are remote right now.
West Ham: 50/1