Derby are understood to have opened talks with Chelsea target Frank Lampard over a new managerial contract to keep him with the English Championship side.
Rams bosses appear determined not to let Lampard leave for former club Chelsea without a fight, and will offer him improved terms in a bid to ward off the English Premier League side's interest.
Derby are still braced for an approach from Chelsea, who are understood to want Lampard to replace Maurizio Sarri in the Stamford Bridge hot seat.
Juventus are poised to unveil Sarri as their new manager on a three-year deal, with Chelsea having secured a compensation package it is understood could rise as high as STG10million ($A18 million).
Lampard notched a club-record 211 goals in a stellar Chelsea career from 2001 to 2014, and racked up 106 caps for England.
The 40-year-old has had just one year in management, but steered Derby to the Championship play-offs in his sole campaign.
Lampard has two years left on his current Derby contract, but the club are understood to want to tie him down to a long-term deal.
Lampard's assistant Jody Morris could also make a return to his former club, to bolster the Blues' backroom staff.
Derby could hold out for STG4 million to hand Chelsea the green light for talks with Lampard, but the Blues would likely be unfazed given their impressive return on the severance package with Juventus over Sarri.
Australian Associated Press