CLAUDE MAKELELE has left his role as manager of KAS Eupen – but will remain as a club ambassador until 2022.
The former Chelsea midfielder joined the Belgian side in 2017 after his spell as the assistant manager of Swansea City.
Makelele guided the club to 12th in the Belgian Pro League after securing 10 wins from 30 matches last season.
But the Frenchman confirmed on Twitter that his time as the manager of the time has come to an end after less than two years.
He said: “Thank you all fo ryour support during the past 18 months. See you soon!”
said: “Of course I’m sad to leave Eupen, but I think it’s the right decision for both parties.
“Now the KAS Eupen can take a new approach with a new direction.
“I would like to thank KAS Eupen and in particular Andreas Bleicher for giving me the opportunity to come to KAS Eupen one and a half years ago.
“I wish my successor good luck and success.
“I look forward to my new role as an ambassador for social projects to help improve the lives of other people and the next sporting challenge.”
KAS Eupen chief Andreas Bleicher added: “In the name of our association, I would like to thank Claude for his good cooperation, dedication, professionalism and success during his time at KAS Eupen.
“Claude was instrumental in keeping the league in the last two seasons.
“We have decided to pursue an approach with even more focus on developing a talented, young team while showing attractive football.
“However, Claude remains associated with our club in a new role expressing our excellent relationship with and appreciation for Claude.
“Claude will serve as our ambassador for social projects until the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.”
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Chelsea fans on social media have jumped to the conclusion that Makelele is on his way back to Stamford Bridge.
During his time with the Blues from 2003 to 2008, he won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups.
Supporters think he could reunite with Frank Lampard if the Derby boss takes over from Juventus-bound Maurizio Sarri.