Chelsea have confirmed that club legend Frank Lampard has left the club as manager with Thomas Tuchel reportedly set to replace him.
Lampard's departure comes less than 24 hours after the Blues' FA Cup victory over Luton Town, and following weeks of speculation due to the club's poor league form.
Chelsea players were reportedly told not to report to the training ground until the afternoon with Tuchel being lined up as the next boss at Stamford Bridge.
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The 42-year-old has been under severe pressure following a run of five defeats in their last eight games in the Premier League with the Blues down in ninth place.
A club statement read: "This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the board have taken lightly. We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as head coach of the club.
However, recent results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
"There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the club time to improve performances and results this season."
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Club owner Roman Abramovich added: "This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
"On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future.
"He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge."
Lampard was just 18 months into a three-year contract he was handed when he was appointed in the summer of 2019, which feels like a lifetime ago. Indeed, for a Chelsea manager it has already been a healthy stint, but this sacking still does appear to be incredibly premature.
Arguably the Blues legend overachieved in his first season in charge by guiding the club to Champions League qualification and the final of the FA Cup, despite the fact that he was not able to make any signings and had a young squad.
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While he was backed in a big way in the summer transfer window, he has not been afforded the time to settle his players in and build a winning culture with them. Lampard has, without question, been let down badly by many of his players so far this season, but there would have been plenty of time for him to turn the club's fortunes around.
Tuchel is reportedly the overwhelming favourite to replace Lampard, but who is to say that he will be able to get Chelsea rolling again any quicker than his predecessor? He may even take longer, or not manage to at all.
This is rushed. This is hasty. This is Chelsea.
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