Chelsea are reportedly in the driving seat when it comes to the pursuit of Max Bird, with Frank Lampard confident of landing the Derby County youngster.

Daily Mail have carried a story from TodoFichajes that entails that Chelsea are leading the race for Max Bird. The Derby County youngster has been the subject of speculation, with the midfielder continuously linked with a reunion with former boss Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

In our last report, we mentioned that Derby County placed a £5 million price tag on Max Bird, which considering his previous experience of working under Lampard and the current youth vibe at Chelsea, makes him a steal in the market conditions at present.

The report from Daily Mail, however, says that Chelsea are prepared to sign the midfielder for £4.8 million, which will fall a bit short of Derby’s asking price. Then again, the venerable relations between Lampard and Derby is likely to see a negotiation go through and deal being struck, especially with there being little difference in the two valuations.

Max Bird stood out as a goal scoring midfielder in the lower age groups, but has broken into the Derby first-team and maintained his position while playing in a slightly withdrawn role, which pertains more towards controlling the midfield than dashing forward to help the attack.

Still, his ability to perform both duties in midfield would make for an ideal addition to the squad at Chelsea, with Lampard opting for a dynamic 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 setup most of the times. With Ross Barkley failing to impress Lampard, Bird could be the cost-effective yet ideal replacement for the former Everton star.

Derby’s stance is well established by now through reports. The club recognises the power and pull of Chelsea’s interest and instead of issuing a hands-off warning, have rather quoted a believable price for the deal to go through, which would benefit all the parties involved.

Bird may be just 19 but his flexibility in midfield roles would lend a great deal to Chelsea, who already have one wondrous young midfielder in the form of Billy Gilmour. A player Lampard once hailed as a standout youngster and an all-round performer during his time as Derby manager; Bird could soon be joining his former boss at Chelsea, if the move does go through.

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