Chelsea closing in on Lyon’s Bompastor to replace Hayes – source

Chelsea‘s talks with Lyon over appointing the French club’s manager, Sonia Bompastor, to replace the outgoing Emma Hayes are advancing well and all parties are optimistic an agreement can be reached, a source has told ESPN.

ESPN reported last month that Bompastor was Chelsea’s preferred candidate to replace Hayes when she departs to become the new coach of the U.S. women’s national team at the end of the European season.

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The former France midfielder has been doing an impressive job at Lyon, winning France’s Division 1 Féminine title in the last two seasons and in 2022 becoming the first person to win the Women’s Champions League as both a player and a manager.

Since taking over in April 2021, Bompastor has lost only five of her 94 games in charge.

Bompastor, 43, whose team is top of the French top flight this season and in the quarterfinals of the Champions League is keen to join Chelsea, a source added.

While she still has a year left on her contract with the French champions, she wants to take her career to the next level.

She could yet face Chelsea in the Champions League final, with both teams on a different side of the draw. Chelsea have a 3-0 lead from the away first leg of their quarterfinal with Ajax, while Lyon have a 2-1 lead from their first leg at Benfica.

Hayes leaves big shoes to fill at Chelsea. She has transformed the side, steering them to six Women’s Super League (WSL) titles since she took charge in 2012, alongside winning five FA Cups.

The London club are currently top of the WSL table, level on points with Manchester City.