Barclays Bank has appointed Grant Thornton to advise it on JJB Sports’ future plans as the retailer revealed this morning that it has exchanged the contracts for four of its stores to Sports Direct.

The disposals have raised£3.4 million, which the retailer will use to help reduce its level of borrowing.

Barclays meanwhile is said to be increasingly concerned about the retailer’s financial position.

As reported by Retail Week, Puma, one of JJB Sports’ biggest suppliers, has stopped supplying the retailer and some credit insurers will no longer provide its suppliers with cover.

It was hoped that JJB Sports founder Dave Whelan would throw a lifeline to the beleaguered sports retailer by buying its health club business in a deal that could have been worth about£100 million. However, reports suggest that he has decided not to pursue a bid.

Last month, rival JD Sports Fashion bought a 10 per cent stake in JJB Sports, igniting speculation that it may launch a bid for the retail arm of the business.