London. Frank Lampard has been appointed the new Chelsea manager, completing an emotional return to Stamford Bridge, reports Daily Mail.
The Blues legend has now put pen to paper on a three-year-deal to become Maurizio Sarri's successor at the west London club, ending the wait for one of the worst kept secrets in English football to be confirmed.
'I am immensely proud to be returning to Chelsea as head coach,' Lampard said after the news was confirmed on Thursday morning.
'Everyone knows my love for this club and the history we have shared, however, my sole focus is on the job in hand and preparing for the season ahead. I am here to work hard, bring further success to the club and I cannot wait to get started.'
'Frank possesses fantastic knowledge and understanding of the club and last season, he demonstrated he is one of the most talented young coaches in the game,' Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia added.
'After 13 years with us as a player, where he became a club legend and our record goalscorer, we believe this is the perfect time for him to return and are delighted he has done so. We will do everything we can to ensure he has all the support required to be a huge success.'
Shortly after putting pen to paper on the three-year contract, Chelsea posted a video on Twitter showing Lampard walking around the Stamford Bridge pitch.
'I'm delighted to be back,' he told the camera. 'I have so many great memories at this place. The new role starts here, I cannot wait to get started. See you soon.'
The 41-year-old will hold his first press conference as Chelsea boss at 2pm on Thursday, where he will be formally unveiled to the awaiting media.
But the news was prematurely broken on Wednesday night by Derby, who posted - and then quickly deleted - a story on their website with the headline: 'Frank Lampard leaves for Chelsea'.
The Blues affirmed their intention to discuss their vacant manager's job with Lampard after making an official approach to Derby last Tuesday, while on Monday the Championship club excused their manager from the first two days of pre-season training in order for their manager to conclude his move to London.
And those formal discussions have been brought to a successful conclusion with all the finer details of Lampard's return now finalised.
Chelsea have paid an initial compensation package worth in the region of £4million to secure Lampard's return.
The former Blues midfielder was happy at Derby - and he was prepared to take training on Monday and Tuesday before the club excused him from duty.
But the emotional pull of returning to Stamford Bridge, where he enjoyed huge success was simply too big to resist.