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Sonia Bompastor: Chelsea Women approach Lyon head coach to replace outgoing Emma Hayes

Chelsea have contacted Lyon about the possibility of making Sonia Bompastor their next head coach; negotiations are ongoing but the French coach is the first candidate Chelsea have reached out to; Bompastor coached Lyon to Champions League success in 2022

Sonia Bompastor is being eyed as a replacement for Emma Hayes at Chelsea
Image: Sonia Bompastor is being considered as a replacement for Emma Hayes at Chelsea

Chelsea have approached Lyon head coach Sonia Bompastor to become their new manager.

Current Blues boss Emma Hayes announced she would be leaving the club at the end of the season to take up a position with the USA national team in November.

Negotiations are ongoing but the French coach is the first candidate Chelsea have reached out to.

Bompastor, a Champions League winner as a player and manager, is contracted to the French champions until 2025.

Emma Hayes
Image: Emma Hayes will leave Chelsea after over a decade in charge at the end of this season

She was capped 156 times by the France national team before retiring in 2013 to take up a coaching position within Lyon's Academy.

Following the sacking of Jean-Luc Vasseur in April 2021, the 43-year-old was appointed as Lyonnais Feminin head coach.

Chelsea players Catarina Macario and Kadeisha Buchanan were both coached by Bompastor at Lyon before their respective moves to west London.

Also See:

Analysis: Chelsea bold to target Bompastor

Sonia Bompastor coached Lyon to Champions League success in 2022
Image: Sonia Bompastor coached Lyon to Champions League success in 2022

Sky Sports reporter Anton Toloui:

Chelsea's move for Bompastor will come as a surprise for many reasons despite her playing and coaching career.

To approach one of the few teams seen as genuine contenders for the Champions League is a bold one, especially as they could play each other in this year's final.

Bompastor is seen as an exceptionally pragmatic coach, which may be one of the reasons Chelsea are interested, but it will be interesting to see what her vision for a post-Hayes future will be.

Her strategic mind did win Lyon the Champions League in 2022, when her Lyon side outfought and out-thought all-conquering Barcelona.

Bompastor is a winner both as a player and a coach and her team is experienced in filling trophy cabinets.

She has also worked with big-money free agent signings Kadeisha Buchanan and Catarina Macario before, which will help her cause.

But the approach for Bompastor shows how few top-level female candidates there are in the game.

The fact there are so few women Chelsea see as qualified for the job is a sign of how much progress needs to be made.

Analysis: Bompastor fits Chelsea's precise wish list

Chelsea's Guro Reiten celebrates scoring her second goal of the game from the penalty spot vs Everton
Image: Chelsea have won six WSL titles dating back to 2015 - they have come out on top in all of the past four seasons

Sky Sports' Laura Hunter:

The rationale behind Chelsea making a beeline for Sonia Bompastor is twofold. The first, and should not be underestimated given Chelsea's recent history, is the fact she's a born winner. That's attractive to a team who have retained a monopoly over domestic silverware for the past five seasons.

In her first full season in charge at Lyon, Bompastor led her side to a league and European double - beating Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League final, scoring three times inside the opening 33 minutes. She holds an 85 per cent win percentage as manager.

Her record as a player is similar, littered with triumphs and titles, as well as over 150 international caps. The list of achievements is vastly impressive.

Emma Hayes
Image: Emma Hayes has won everything domestically with Chelsea, but is yet to triumph in Europe

The second reason is less obvious but important to state. In Emma Hayes, Chelsea had a trailblazer. One of the game's chief champions who has been responsible for growth and change - a major player in improving the overall health of the sport.

The fact she has done so from a female perspective is equally important. Hayes entered the game at a time when very few female voices were taken seriously - a gap in experienced female head coaches still exists to this day.

Bompastor will be seen as one of the few coaches, currently managing at a top European club, who can directly relate. These are big boots to fill, and very few candidates with the credentials Chelsea would prioritise to fill them.

'Bompastor would tick all boxes'

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French football journalist Julien Laurens believes Lyon head coach Sonia Bompastor would be the ideal choice to succeed Emma Hayes as Chelsea manager.

French football expert Julien Laurens speaking live from Paris on Sky Sports News:

"It would be a great choice. She's wonderful, she's had a great impact since she's taken over at Lyon. They play really good football and she's only a young coach.

"For me, she's got all the ingredients to become a top, top head coach. She is already. She speaks English too, so that wouldn't be a barrier.

"It's hard to follow in the steps of Emma Hayes, of course, it would be hard for anybody. But I think Bompastor would be keen for that challenge. She ticks all the boxes to become the next Chelsea manager."

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