Why Sheffield Wednesday's pursuit of Michael Hector may take fresh twist
Sheffield Wednesday's hopes of bringing Michael Hector back to Hillsborough could take a fresh twist this week.
Hector's parent club, Chelsea, have been given permission to speak to Derby County boss Frank Lampard about their vacant manager's job.
Lampard, the Blues' record goalscorer following a glittering playing career with the Premier League giants, steered the Rams to the Championship play-off final in his first campaign as a manager last term. They lost 2-1 to Steve Bruce's former club Aston Villa at Wembley.
Should Lampard succeed Maurizio Sarri, who left his role as Blues boss on June 16 to take over at Italian champions Juventus, at Stamford Bridge, his appointment may have a positive knock-on effect on the Owls' pursuit of Hector.
Ex-England international Lampard made 648 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 211 goals and winning 11 major trophies.
If he does take over at the Blues, he will inherit a transfer embargo after Chelsea were given a two-window ban by the world governing body FIFA - a decision the club is appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
As for Hector, who is contracted to the Blues until next summer, he has never played for the club since arriving from Reading nearly four years ago.
But the Jamaica international starred while on loan at Hillsborough during the 2018/19 season, clocking up 41 appearances and hitting two goals. His assured, commanding displays at the heart of their rearguard earned him the player of the season award.
The 26-year-old has previously expressed his desire to join the Owls on a permanent basis.
"I’ve enjoyed my time here at Sheffield," he said. "Hopefully something gets sorted."
It is understood Wednesday remain in dialogue with Chelsea's hierarchy over Hector and have not given up hope of re-signing him.
But Fulham are also thought to be big admirers of the 26-year-old defender.