A Frank Lampard return has been teased by Roman Abramovich in his farewell message to the Chelsea legend.
It comes after the 42-year-old was handed his P45 on Monday following a dismal run.
Two wins in their last eight Premier League matches have seen the Blues drop to ninth.
With Champions League qualification a minimum expectation, Abramovich has acted.
Thomas Tuchel is set to be appointed as manager to bring new life to Chelsea.
But fans have been devastated by the brutal sacking of Lampard, who is arguably the club’s best-ever player, while Abramovich left an uncustomary message for the now-former Blues boss.
Chelsea have sacked Frank Lampard as manager
SHOULD FRANK LAMPARD HAVE BEEN SACKED? HAVE YOUR SAY IN COMMENTS BELOW
Not one usually to leave outgoing coaches farewell messages in official statements, Abramovich thanked Lampard for his efforts and reinforced his legendary status at the club.
He finished by insisting he would always be welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich said: “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.
Roman Abramovich has left the door open to Frank Lampard
“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.”
Where Lampard goes next remains to be seen but he has been made the favourite to become the next permanent manager at Celtic.
At just 42, the former midfielder is in the infancy of his coaching career – and though he may be…