FORMER Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has beaten off competition from Frank Lampard and is set to be appointed as new manager of MLS side Charlotte FC.
The 52-year-old has been out of work since failing to keep Leicester City in the Premier League last season.
Now the ex-Leicester City and Brentford man is reportedly on the verge of securing his return to the dug-out in America.
It is widely-reported that he will be officially confirmed in his job by the MLS outfit within the next 24 hours.
Smith flew from a family holiday in New York City today to thrash out the finer details of his deal and is expected to soon sign on the dotted line.
And the news will come as a bitter blow to former England midfielder Lampard, 45.
The Eastern Conference franchise, who are based in North Carolina, are owned by billionaire David Tepper.
He has spoken to a host of high profile candidates about the role since sacking Christian Lattanzio in November, even though he led Charlotte to the play-offs.
Lampard was one of those said to have been in talks with the chief, according to the Daily Mail.
However, the Chelsea legend has missed out on the opportunity to resurrect his career Stateside, where he previously enjoyed a stint playing for New York City FC, after Smith impressed throughout the whole interview process.
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Smith only took over Leicester in April after Brendan Rodgers’ departure but he was unable to lift them out of the drop zone during his eight-game reign.
He had previously had a year in charge at Norwich and enjoyed success at Villa, guiding them to promotion back to the Premier League in 2019.
Meanwhile, Lampard returned to the Chelsea hotseat on an interim basis in April after Graham Potter was sacked.
He had previously spent just short of a year at Everton, keeping them up in his first season there, only to be axed in January.
Charlotte are looking ahead to their third season in the MLS next year.
They finished ninth in the Eastern Conference last term and beat Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami 1-0 on the final day of the regular season to reach the playoffs.
Source: The Sun