Frank Lampard has decided to drop out of the running for the Norwich job with Dean Smith now the leading contender to take charge at Carrow Road, reports claim. The former Chelsea manager was said to be in line to take over in East Anglia on Thursday according to intense media speculation but it’s now emerged that Lampard has decided to withdraw his application.
Lampard has been out of work since January when he was cruelly dismissed by his favourite club Chelsea, although their decision to pull the trigger was later justified after Thomas Tuchel guided the Blues to Champions League glory.
Since then, Lampard has been overlooked for a series of jobs including Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Aston Villa.
Wolves and Everton have also since appointed new coaches, meaning Lampard’s remaining options in the Premier League have become extremely limited.
That’s why Norwich – despite their position in the table – were of interest to Lampard, who discussed the opening with the Carrow Road hierarchy earlier this week.
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That leaves the Canaries short of options while Bodo/Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen is also understood to be under consideration.
One club that could benefit from Lampard’s decision to turn down Norwich though is Rangers, who are interested in the former England international following Steven Gerrard’s move to Aston Villa.
The Times say Lampard is one of three names on Rangers’ shortlist alongside Sean Dyche and the favourite Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Ibrox chiefs are expected to hold talks with the Dutchman, who played for the club two decades ago before joining Arsenal.
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Van Bronckhorst has won the Eredivisie during his short managerial career with Feyenoord before he headed to the Far East to coach Guangzhou R&F.
It’s currently unclear whether Lampard would be open to potentially moving north of the border to inherit his former England team-mate Gerrard’s old side.
Lampard has previously stated he would not rule out a return to the Championship, where he previously managed Derby, in the aftermath of his dismissal at Chelsea.
Other outside contenders for the Rangers job include Frank de Boer and Derek McInnes.