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'It would be a major surprise if he doesn’t get the job' - Redknapp backs 'class' Lampard for Chelsea job

11:16 AM GMT 17/06/2019
Frank Lampard Derby
The former Blues midfielder's uncle has tipped his nephew to succeed at Stamford Bridge if given the opportunity to step into the managerial hot seat

Harry Redknapp has backed Derby County boss Frank Lampard to be a success if he replaces Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge, having already proven he has a "touch of class" as a manager.

Lampard guided the Rams to the Championship play-off final at Wembley last season, where they suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Aston Villa.

Despite failing to earn promotion, Lampard impressed during his first full campaign as a head coach and is now being touted for a major step up.

Chelsea are on the lookout for yet another permanent manager after Maurizio Sarri decided to return to Italy with Juventus, following a relatively successful debut season in England.

The Blues finished third in the Premier League and sealed Europa League glory in May, but family ties have lured the Italian boss back to his homeland.

Lampard is the favourite to succeed Sarri at the Bridge, and his uncle and ex-Tottenham manager Redknapp has endorsed a former charge for the role.

The 72-year-old worked with Lampard during his younger days at West Ham and he claims an agreement with Chelsea is close to being completed.

“I think it would be a major surprise if he doesn’t get the job,” Redknapp told talkSPORT. “It looks to me as though it will happen. It would be brilliant for him.

“A shame for Derby as Mel Morris gave him the opportunity there and he’s done a great job. But it’s a great move; he’s absolutely idolised at Chelsea – a genuine legend there.

“He knows the game, he knows what it’s about, he’s got a touch of class… it will be great.

“He has a squad there that for sure will finish top six."

Chelsea will be unable to sign any new players during the summer window due to a two-window transfer ban, which the club are in the process of appealing.

The Blues have also lost talismanic attacker Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid for €100m (£89m, $112m) last week.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the club at the moment, Redknapp feels the current squad will still manage to earn a top-four finish next term, with the youngsters likely to be afforded a chance to shine.

“I see them next season finishing, at the best, third, probably fourth; around where they were last season," he added.

“But it’s going to be tougher as they’ve lost their best player, but it might be a great opportunity to give these kids a game.

“They win everything at Under-16, Under-18, and Under-21 tournaments… let’s see them play! Throw them in!.

“Tammy Abraham has been out on loan at Aston Villa and did fantastic in the Championship. The boy [Mason] Mount [who] Frank had at Derby… let’s see them play!”