The owners of Super League side Wigan Warriors have announced a bid to buy Wigan Athletic after the Championship club went into administration.
In a statement on the club's website, Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan confirmed he had spoken to Wigan Athletic's administrators about a deal that would also attract further investment.
"We strongly believe that Wigan Athletic is better being locally-owned.
"As sustainability and ownership of the stadium is equally important to both clubs.
"Our intention is to identify other investors quickly and start due diligence on the football club with the intention of making a bid in due course.
"We have made the administrators aware of our interest and hope to explore this with them further over the days ahead.
"Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic are both local sporting institutions and it is our belief that this is a unique opportunity here to bring the ownership of these two great clubs together under one roof, each operating independently as before, but under a Wigan Sporting Partnership banner."
It would be expected that both clubs would retain all its training grounds, management and facilities.
David Molyneux, the Leader of Wigan Council, has confirmed that "Wigan Council would be very supportive of this initiative".
Meanwhile, Wigan administrator Gerald Krasner has confirmed the club has appealed against its 12-point deduction for going into administration.
The clubs is set to be handed a 12-point penalty once the season has been completed and the EFL confirmed last week the punishment would apply this season if Wigan avoided finishing in the bottom three.
Wigan are currently 16th in the Championship, six points above the relegation zone with five games remaining in the season.
Krasner said at a press conference on Tuesday: "I can tell you all that the initial appeal has already been made by our solicitors and we have until Friday this week to put in a substantive defence as to why the 12 points should not be deducted."
Krasner also said that Wigan face the possibility of a further 15 point deduction next season.