Chelsea legend Ashley Cole has been released by Derby County, who are currently managed by former teammate Frank Lampard.
Cole joined the Rams on a short-term contract during the January transfer window and has now been released from his contract. Cole joins the likes of Efe Ambrose, David Nugent and Marcus Olsson among the list of players whose contracts the club have decided to not renew. The loan deals of Harry Wilson, Andy King and Chelsea pair Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount are set to come to an end.
Above: Cole in action for Derby against Aston Villa this season
Cole was brought to the Championship club in the January transfer window to serve as cover for the side. The Rams were fairly impressive throughout the season but eventually lost their promotion playoff final game against Aston Villa.
It remains to be seen whether the former Premier League winner with both Arsenal and Chelsea will decide to hang up his boots or retire from the game altogether.
Meanwhile, Rams boss Lampard is being linked with the Blues managerial job. Maurizio Sarri has been tipped to take the vacant managerial post at Juventus. Hiring Lampard to manage the West London club would be a major risk. He does have a thorough understanding of the structures of the club having spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge as a player between 2001-2014; however, he still lacks managerial experience, having only kicked off his managerial career last summer with Derby.
Roman Abramovich is not one who is known to be patient with managers and Lampard’s legacy could end up being tarnished at the club should things go wrong. If the Blues need a new manager, they should rather target someone with more experience such as Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo or even Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez. Benitez is reportedly unsettled at the Magpies and is a manager who has a proven track record of being able to work well with limited resources as he has done with the Toon Army. Considering their transfer ban, the Blues need a manager next season who has an ability to work with limited resources.