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Lille are in talks to acquire Belgian side Royal Excel Mouscron

As initially reported by Stéphane Pauwels, a former employee at Ligue 1 side Lille, and per reporting collated by Le Petit Lillois, Mouscron and LOSC are discussing a takeover of the Belgian club.

Le Soir today reports that the majority shareholder of the Belgian club at 90%, Pairoj Piempongsant, is looking for a buyer and is apparently in discussions with Gérard Lopez, who has never hidden his desire to find a satellite club to support Les Dogues. The Belgian daily adds that there are two possible buyers, but the projected presented by Lille seems to be on the firmest footing and that Marc Ingla, Lille’s Director General, attended a match at Mouscron this season.

RTBF goes further and claims that there has been “a serious rapprochement between the clubs of Lille and Mouscron” adding “it comes back to us that an agreement could already be found next weekend.” La Dernière Heure, meanwhile, confirms the progress of the discussions and even adds that the Lille representatives met with Bernd Hollerbach, Excel Mouscron’s coach, at the beginning of this week to understand what his intentions are, if he who wants to stay at the club and honour his final year of his contract – the answer was yes.

This is not Lopez’s first attempt to acquire a satellite club, having experienced failures in trying to purchase Gil Vicente (January 2017), Vitoria S.C. (January 2020) and undertaking an inconclusive partnership with Belenenses (2019-2020 campaign). Following the example of Monaco’s satellite association with Cercle Brugge, the implementation of this system would make it possible to have a club which could allow the progression of young players, barred at the moment from getting first team opportunities at LOSC. Thus, players like Cheikh Niasse or Darly Nlandu, as well as other recruits arriving from Africa or South America, would no longer have to sit in the reserves, where the club’s secondary outfit oscillates between the French 4th and 5th divisions.

Located less than 30 kilometres from Lille, Mouscron is nearby and would allow better acclimatisation of potential players brought in to play with the club. In addition, Belgium is a French-speaking country and has a climate that is very similar to that of Lille.

Mouscron will likely ring a bell for Lille supporters, LOSC was already a formal partner and then majority shareholder of the Belgian club for a period of four years. During the 2011/12 season, LOSC signed a partnership agreement with Mouscron, then in the Belgian 3rd division. A year later, in May 2012, Lille became a 51% majority shareholder, sending many young players on loan there in the seasons that followed. Returning to the Belgian 1st division in the summer of 2014, Les Dogues were forced to sell its shares a year later, following the arrival of Marc Coucke, owner of Oostende, in the equity structure of the French club.

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