have opened talks with club legend Frank Lampard about an emotional return to Stamford Bridge as manager.
Blues officials have sat down with the Derby
boss to discuss the possibility of him replacing Maurizio Sarri, who is on the brink of leaving the club.
The Italian is set to complete his move to Juventus
this week, bringing an end to his time in the Premier League after just one season.
Chelsea are understood to have doubts about Lampard's managerial experience - he has just a year under his belt at Pride Park - but he is held in high regard by owner Roman Abramovich after a stellar playing career with the club.
The former England midfielder - who was seen out for lunch with former team-mate Didier Drogba on Tuesday afternoon - is odds on with the bookmakers to replace Sarri, who has been picked to replace Massimiliano Allegri by the Turin giants.
Chelsea are set to earn £5million in compensation for their manager, who won the Europa League, reached the Carabao Cup final and finished third last season.
Allegri and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who caught the eye during the Dutch club's impressive run to the Champions League semi-finals, have also been considered as replacements for Sarri.
However, both are concerned about the transfer ban Chelsea are currently facing for breaking rules over the signing of overseas players under the age of 16.
The club have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to get the ban overturned and give whoever replaces Sarri a chance to bring in their own players during the summer transfer window.
They will have money to spend after the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, with the deal worth up to £150m if all the add-on clauses are met.
Lampard impressed during his first season in management, leading Derby to the Championship play-off final where they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa.
Drogba and Lampard met for lunch on Walton Street in London following the Derby manager's talks with the Blues.