Lyon, Nov 25, 2019 (AFP) - American superstar Megan Rapinoe's team Reign FC are in negotiations to be bought out by the owners of current women's European champions Lyon, both teams said on Monday.
OL Group, which owns Lyon's men's and women's teams, said in a statement that the move will consolidate their position as the "top women's football group in the world".
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas unveiled at the club's most recent AGM plans to expand his team's brand in both the United States and China and earmarked a budget for the purchase of an American franchise.
Based in Tacoma near Seattle, Reign FC will start their eighth season in the American National Women's Soccer League next term and have on their roster FIFA's women's world player of the year Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe, 34, was joint top scorer with six goals at this year's women's World Cup -- won by the United States -- and bagged the Golden Boot.
She also won the Golden Ball for the best player and became the face of the tournament for her outspoken views on US president Donald Trump and campaigning for LGBT rights.
Rapinoe played for Lyon in between 2013 and 2014, with follow USA forward Alex Morgan briefly playing for the six-time Champions League winners in 2017.
Reign FC said Monday that they expected to conclude a deal with OL Group before the end of January.
"Our ambition has always been to operate the best women's football club in the world," said Reign FC's majority owner Bill Predmore.
"This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organisation to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club."
With thirteen consecutive domestic league titles and six Champions League, Lyon's women's outfit fit that bill.
Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock told her club website she was massively behind the move.
"Lyon and Reign are both amazing organisations and I am so proud to have played for both clubs," she said.
"Bringing the clubs together is for me the perfect combination -- I literally can't think of a better outcome for two clubs who are so dedicated to the growth of the women's game."