Frank Lampard has said he is open to the possibility of beginning his coaching career in the coming months.
Lampard, 39, who officially retired from playing last February, has been working as a pundit for BT Sport while studying for his UEFA A Licence.
The A Licence would qualify him to take charge of any professional team below the top tier as well as any youth or reserve side.
Chelsea have been assisting their all-time top scorer in his studies, granting him frequent access to Cobham to help under-18s coach Jody Morris take sessions in recent months, and sources have told ESPN FC that they are minded to offer him a role at the club should he want one.
Lampard has made no secret of his dream to manage Chelsea one day, but told the Evening Standard he would begin to consider his options once he reached the next milestone in his studies.
“My A Licence will be finished in the spring, in the next few months or so,” he said. “That gives me the opportunity to work. The Pro Licence will start in the summer — that is what you need to manage in the Champions League — and will take a year.
“I could get a job before that but I wouldn’t be able to take charge of a club in European competition. If the right opportunity comes up, then I’ll take a view on it.”
If all goes to plan Lampard will be qualified to coach in the Premier League and Champions League by the summer of 2019, but few in the English game expect him to have to wait that long for an opportunity.
League One club Oxford United were credited with making an approach for Lampard in January, but the 39-year-old said he would not be taking charge at the Kassam Stadium any time soon.
“I had conversations with Dave Jones, who is on the board at Oxford, in the summer about the role and it went as far as that,” Lampard explained.
“They were just conversations, but there is no truth in the current link.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.