David Buchler, former chairman of the European division of turnaround specialist Kroll, has emerged as the latest potential bidder for Woolworths.

Buchler, a former Tottenham Hotspur executive, is interested in buying 350 to 400 Woolworths stores.

If his bid is successful, about half of the 30,000 Woolworths jobs likely to be lost at present could be saved.

Buchler, who is working with retail executive Eddie Woolf, would shut Woolworths stores for a month to build relationships with suppliers and staff would be asked to apply for jobs, therefore losing continuity of employment rights.

That move would allow Buchler to avoid paying out estimated liabilities of between£30 million and£40 million under employment legislation.

On Friday, Woolworths administrator Deloitte announced 450 redundancies among the retailer's head office and support staff.

Reports suggest that Buchler has a war chest of between£80 million and£100 million to spend.

Deloitte has not set a date for bids for the failed chain, but hopes matters will come to a head this week.

Following Woolworths' biggest Sale to date, which began on Friday, the retailer reported that it made almost£25 million in its first day of discounting.