OL Groupe, the owners of French heavyweights Lyon, are close to completing the purchase of National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) side Reign FC.

The parties have entered into exclusive negotiations and expect to close the transaction before January 31, 2020.

Lyon have been the dominant force in women's football in Europe over the last decade, winning the Women's Champions League in six of the past nine seasons.

Last term's Division 1 Feminine triumph was Lyon's 13th successive league title.

An OL Groupe statement read: "This investment is expected to consolidate OL's position as a major player in women's football worldwide and further develop the OL brand in the United States."

Reign are home to United States star Megan Rapinoe, the Golden Ball winner at this year's Women's World Cup in France, and former Lyon midfielder Jess Fishlock.

The team moved from Seattle to Tacoma at the beginning of 2019 and finished fourth in the regular season, before losing out to eventual champions North Carolina Courage in the play-offs.

Majority owner Bill Predmore said: "Our ambition has always been to operate the best women's football club in the world.

"This is a distinction long held by OL, making them the perfect organisation to help us achieve our long-term objectives for the club."

The 2020 NWSL season begins in March.

Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan lead the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin in the award's second year.

Publication France Football revealed their 20-woman shortlist on Monday, acknowledging the successes of Lyon and United States in particular.

Women's Champions League winners Lyon have six players in the running, including Bronze and 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg, though the latter is not thought to be among the favourites given her World Cup absence.

United States lifted the trophy in France and four of their squad have been nominated, with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Rapinoe flying the USA flag.

Rapinoe is regarded by many as the favourite, however, with the Reign FC star inspirational in the World Cup campaign, finishing joint top-scorer on six with Ellen White and Morgan, while she also added three assists.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France, before also taking home The Best FIFA Women's Player award, edging out Morgan. Bronze came third.

Full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Ellen White (Manchester City), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Sari van Veenendal (Atletico Madrid), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Marta (Orlando Pride), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson (both CD Tacon/Real Madrid), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns).

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