Frank Lampard has declared himself ready to move into management once the right opportunity arises.
The former England midfielder has been working behind the scenes to complete his coaching qualifications at old club Chelsea as he inches closer to a first job in management.
Lampard expects more of his generation of England players to move into management in time, and backed Steven Gerrard to realise his own coaching ambitions.
While Gerrard closes in on taking the helm at Rangers, Lampard has recently been linked with Ipswich — and conceded he is moving ever closer to taking on a front line coaching role.
“Well I’m doing my coaching badges at the moment. I’ve spent a lot of time at Chelsea this year, gaining hours of experience,” Lampard told PA Sport. “I’ve already managed to get my A Licence in coaching. So yes, with the right opportunity and right timing for me, I’d really take a very close look at it.
“Because you do want to give back, show you can help try to develop players, and help them tactically and whether you can be a good man manager. And I certainly think Steven [Gerrard] will make a success of it.
“I’ve known Steven a long time, he’s a serious thinker about the game. I work with him now, and his analysis and extent of knowledge about the game is huge.
“He’ll be a great acquisition for anyone to take on. And good for him. It’s what he wants to do and I think he’ll be very good at it.
“The FA are working much more closely now with ex-players to try to get them into their coaching badges.
“I think we had some barren years when the help wasn’t there, and players went away from the game. But now I think they’re trying to help players go straight into getting their coaching badges.”
Lampard won 106 England caps between 1999 and 2014, and retired fully in 2016 after a stint with New York City.
The 39-year-old believes the transition from player to manager can prove tougher than many realise.
“If a Steven Gerrard is linked with a job immediately people say he needs experience, but he has to gain that experience somewhere,” said Lampard.
“I’ve learned so much day to day on the training pitch with Chelsea this year.
“It’s a great way to cut your teeth. And Steven doing it there at Liverpool’s academy has been smart.”