Frank Lampard has made a surprise U-turn by reportedly withdrawing from the race to become the next Crystal Palace manager.
Lampard has been out of work since Chelsea sacked him in January. However, it looked likely he wouldn’t have to wait long to get back into management. There will be a vacancy at Crystal Palace this summer after Roy Hodgson’s emotional departure.
The chance to manage another London-based Premier League club seemed like one Lampard would consider taking. Talks have been ongoing and there were even reports he had picked out his first signing.
But now, there has been a surprise twist. According to Football Insider, Lampard has pulled out of the running for the Selhurst Park job.
The website claims Lampard sees the rebuilding job at Palace as too big. As such, he is fearful of being involved in a relegation battle.
With several Palace players out of contract this summer, they would need to find a lot of reinforcements. They may not all click instantly and it could lead to a troublesome season.
Palace would have been hoping that someone like Lampard could help them avoid that. But it seems he will be considering different options instead.
He has told the Daily Mirror that he wouldn’t mind dropping into the Championship if it was the right opportunity.
“It’s something I love doing, I love working in management, even more than I thought I would do,” he said this week.
“I would take a view on going into the Championship.
“If it was the right club, the right project for sure. I don’t have an ego where I feel just because I’ve managed in the Champions League, that’s the be all and end all. My year at Derby was such an enjoyable year.”
Ismael could be Palace man instead
Football Insider add that a perhaps more likely candidate for the Palace job is Valerien Ismael.
The Frenchman has guided Barnsley into the Championship play-offs this season. Palace director of football Dougie Freedman rates him and has suggested him as an option.
Ismael used to play for Palace, albeit briefly, and his achievements this season have shown what he could do as a manager.
But Eagles owner Steve Parish preferred Lampard, so it remains to be seen what course of action they will take.