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Graham Potter turns down Lyon five months after leaving Chelsea, ex-Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui also considered

Former Chelsea and Brighton manager Graham Potter turns down head coach role in Ligue 1 with Lyon five months after leaving Stamford Bridge; ex-Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui and current Lille manager Paulo Fonseca also in running for winless Lyon

Graham Potter watches on with his team 1-0 down early in the first half
Image: Graham Potter was sacked by Chelsea in April

Former Chelsea and Brighton manager Graham Potter has declined the opportunity to take charge at Lyon.

The Ligue 1 club made him their first choice to try to oversee a major restructure in eastern France, but while Potter met with, and was impressed by, Lyon's owner John Textor, Sky Sports News has been told Potter has ultimately decided it is not the right time to move back into management.

Lyon's American owner has big ambitions for the club, and with the club bottom of the table, he plans to invest heavily in the squad and facilities over the coming months and years.

Potter's record at Chelsea
Image: Potter's record at Chelsea

It is thought Lyon will now turn their attentions to current Lille boss Paulo Fonseca and Julen Lopetegui, who left Wolves in August.

Potter has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in April, only 31 games into a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge. At the time, the club were 11th in the Premier League and went on to finish outside the top half for the first time since 1996.

Prior to that, the 48-year-old had been in continuous work since 2011, first leading Ostersunds from the Swedish fourth tier to the top flight and European football.


A year at Swansea followed before he was chosen as Chris Hughton's replacement at Brighton in 2019. He would spend just over three years at the Amex Stadium, overseeing a revolution of the club's on-field philosophy which eventually saw them finish ninth, their best ever league finish at the time, in 2021/22.

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Of Lyon's other options, Fonseca joined Lille in June 2022 and led the club to a fifth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season. Lopetegui saved Wolves from Premier League relegation during a nine-month spell at Molineux, despite the club having picked up only 10 points from 16 games when he took over.

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