​NWSL side Reign FC have announced that they are in negotiations to sell the club to OL Groupe, owners of Olympique Lyonnais, with the deal expected to be closed by the end of January. 

Lyon's women's team have dominated European football for most of this decade, winning six Champions League titles – including the last four in a row – and are favourites to repeat their success again this season. 

Megan Rapinoe

Reign FC majority owners Teresa Predmore and Bill Predmore will keep a minority stake in the club, with the latter expected to continue as CEO. Reign are looking to rebuild this off-season, after head coach Vlatko Andonovski was poached by the USWNT following the departure of Jill Ellis. 

“Our ambition has always been to operate the best women’s football club in the world,” Bill Predmore said in a ​club statement. “This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organisation to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club.”

Reign made the semi-final stage of the NWSL playoffs for the second straight season, losing 4-1 after extra time to eventual champions North Carolina Courage. 

Wales international Jess Fishlock has played for Reign since the club's beginning in 2013, and won the Champions League on loan at Lyon last season – and said of the news: “When Bill shared the news I was stunned, but my mind was immediately racing and dreaming about all the possibilities of what the two clubs could accomplish together. 

Bethany Balcer

"Lyon and Reign are both amazing organisations and I am so proud to have played for both clubs. 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. I am incredibly excited about what the future holds for both clubs.”

For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at ​@ThatChris1209