JD Sports is understood to be the frontrunner to buy struggling outdoors retailer Blacks with the deal likely to go-ahead on Monday.

The sports fashion group is leading the race, sources close to the situation have said.

It is understood that JD Sports will take on the bulk of the stores with the majority of jobs safeguarded.

Blacks Leisure, which operates the Blacks and Millets chains, revealed its intention to put itself into administration ahead of the sale this morning following the submission of final offers to buy the retailer yesterday

JD faced stiff competition from rival Sports Direct to buy the outdoors specialist. Dragons Den entrepreneur Peter Jones, who was widely speculated to be amongst the final four bidders for the retailer, ruled himself out of the race earlier today.