Bank of New York Mellon Corp Chief Executive Robert Kelly is the front-runner to succeed retiring Bank of America Corp CEO Kenneth Lewis, but compensation issues could get in the way of a deal, the Wall Street Journal said on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

The Journal said that the talks were fluid as of Sunday night, and that a person close to Kelly warned that it might not be possible for him to reach an agreement with Bank of America's directors.

According to the report, Kelly has not yet received an official offer. One person familiar with the situation told the Journal that if Kelly and the board can reach some level of comfort around compensation, he will take it.

BofA, the largest U.S. bank, last week said it had finished repaying the $45 billion it had borrowed under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

Bank of America could not immediately be reached for comment. Bank of New York Mellon spokesman Kevin Heine declined to comment on the matter.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Diane Craft)