Frank Lampard has been excused from reporting back for pre-season training with Derby as he continues discussions about becoming Chelsea manager.
Rams boss Lampard was last week granted permission to speak to the English Premier League club with a view to succeeding Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge.
Derby are searching for a new manager on the assumption the 41-year-old will leave Pride Park.
"Derby County Football Club has excused Frank Lampard from reporting back for pre-season training on Monday and Tuesday to allow his discussions regarding a potential move to Chelsea to be concluded as soon as possible," read a statement on the club's official website on Monday.
"The first few days of pre-season training will be focused on fitness training and will continue as planned under the guidance of the fitness, medical, conditioning and sports science teams at the club's training centre.
"On the assumption that Frank will reach an agreement with Chelsea to become their new manager, the club shall step up its efforts to find a replacement manager."
Former midfielder Lampard scored a club record 211 goals as a Chelsea player between 2001 and 2014, winning 11 major trophies.
Derby owner Mel Morris feels it is only a matter of time before Lampard and Chelsea reach an agreement.
"I'm assuming so. Obviously it's a matter between Chelsea and Frank at this stage, but they've now got the opportunity to finalise matters," Morris told talkSPORT.
"When Frank and I first met, we discussed this very eventuality, the only difference is the timing of this.
"Our belief at this point in time is that Frank and Chelsea need to have the time now to finalise the transaction between them."
Asked if Chelsea have already had sufficient time, he replied: "You could say that.
"I think in fairness that Frank was away on vacation, didn't come back until Friday - a well-deserved vacation, it was a pretty tough season - so I think that's been a big factor."
Australian Associated Press