Dixons and Carphone Warehouse are set to ask the Takeover Panel to extend today’s deadline to the negotiations for their £4bn merger.

Today’s deadline was originally set by the Panel when the retailers revealed they were in merger discussions last month but, with it unlikely to be met, the pair are looking for an extension until May, according to The Telegraph.

It is understood that news of the talks between the pair broke at a very early stage of negotiation.

It is thought that the companies have agreed that Sir Charles Dunstone, the founder and chairman of Carphone Warehouse, will chair the new company, while Dixons boss Sebastian James will be chief executive.

A tie-up would give Dixons, which has 458 predominantly out-of-town UK stores, access to convenient high street locations where customers could pick up online orders. It is understood multichannel benefits are a key attraction of a deal for both parties.

A merger would create a business worth about £4bn, with sales approaching £12bn, and it has been estimated synergies could lead to £270m of savings.