Women’s Super League: Hayes gets new Chelsea deal and Parris joins Arsenal

Emma Hayes has signed a new contract with Chelsea after leading the team to a first Champions League final and winning the Women’s Super League and League Cup last season.

The deal was confirmed on the day Arsenal announced they had signed Nikita Parris from Lyon. They have paid €80,000 (£68,800) for the England forward with the possibility of a further €20,000 in bonuses.

Hayes, who has impressed as a pundit during the men’s Euros, joined Chelsea in 2012 and has won four Women’s Super Leagues, the Spring Series, two Women’s FA Cups and two League Cups there.

Chelsea had twice reached the Champions League semi-finals under Hayes before they clinched a spot in the final, which they lost 4-0 to Barcelona.

“Everyone knows what this club means to me,” Hayes said. “The work we’ve done together over the last nine years has been hugely rewarding, full of growth of the women’s game, accompanied with winning, which is one of the club’s key values. I really look forward to keep building on the successes we’ve already achieved and I’m delighted to have extended further.

“It’s been a year and a half without fans, so I can’t wait to welcome them back to our home and share with them the wonderful team we’ve built together.”

The Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “We have no doubt there’s more exciting times to come and look forward to watching her take Chelsea Women to even greater heights.”

Chelsea have recruited the PSV Eindhoven defender Aniek Nouwen this summer and in recent years have assembled one of the world’s best attacks with the acquisitions of the Australia forward Sam Kerr and European player of the year Pernille Harder.

Parris’s arrival at Arsenal gives the WSL another high-quality forward. She left Manchester City for Lyon in June 2019 as the league’s record scorer with 49 goals, a tally surpassed last season by Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and City’s Ellen White. During five years in Manchester she won the Women’s Super League, two FA Cups and two Continental League Cups.

“I’m very happy to be here,” Parris told Arsenal’s website. “Arsenal has an unbelievable history and I want to be a part of this. I want to achieve all domestic titles and compete in the Champions League here. I’m happy to be back in the WSL, which has grown and improved so much since I left.”

At Lyon Parris has benefited from the long-term absence of the Norway forward Ada Hegerberg, who suffered an ACL injury in January 2020. Parris scored eight goals in 15 appearances in her first season, winning the league (which was curtailed by the pandemic), French cup and Champions League.

She got 13 goals in 20 games last season but Lyon finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain, who also knocked them out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals.

Arsenal finished the 2020-21 season empty-handed but beat Manchester United to the final Champions League spot by one point. In August Arsenal will play the Kazakh club FC Okzhetpes in their opening game in that competition. The winners will face PSV Eindhoven or Lokomotiv Moscow for a place in the second and final round of qualifying, the stage at which Manchester City enter. That is followed by the group stage, to which Chelsea have direct entry.

Arsenal’s new head coach, Jonas Eidevall, said: “I’m very pleased to have signed Nikita and add to our strong strikeforce. She is a talented player and has a winner’s mentality and I’m looking froward to working with her once she returns from the Olympics.”