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Lille president Gerard Lopez has confirmed that a sale of the current Ligue 1 leaders is likely with a bid in his hands from Merlyn Partners.

The Luxembourgish businessman purchased the three-time French champions in early 2017 and launched a failed project with Marcelo Bielsa as coach before Christophe Galtier arrived to turn the club around on the pitch with famed sporting director Luis Campos constructing the squad.

Lopez, 48, secured loans to keep LOSC afloat but the financial impact of COVID-19 and the recent collapse of the lucrative Mediapro television rights contract has put Les Dogues in an awkward position.

In a communique shared via L'Equipe, the former Lotus F1 team chief spoke about the proposed move to sell Lille to newly founded Merlyn Partners with former Rennes president and Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Olivier Letang involved.

"I am happy with the work that we have done and that our sporting successes with Lille are being recognised by foreign investors at a difficult moment for French football," said Lopez. "I welcome Merlyn's interest in the club and will consider this proposal careful and as soon as possible for the benefit of all stakeholders.

"COVID-related difficulties and the TV rights situation means that the time might have come for a change in business model with new owners.

"Merlyn works with experienced leaders across the world of football, including Olivier Letang, with the idea of bringing financial stability in order to defend against the financial impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the question of TV rights."

Although Lille did not win any silverware under Lopez's control, they did finish the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season in second and they are currently top of the table after 14 rounds of fixtures as well as qualified for the latter stages of the Europa League with Ajax to come in the round of 32.

LOSC were expected to sell heavily in January with Renato Sanches a notable name that could be on the move and it remains to be seen if Merlyn's arrival would lessen the need to raise funds this winter transfer window.