Retail tycoon Mike Ashley is in negotiations about a deal that would see Frasers Group take control of Matches. 

The Sports Direct founder is among a small number of parties who submitted offers for the luxury fashion retailer this week and could see Frasers take control of the brand within days, according to Sky News. 

Next is also among the interested parties eyeing Matches, which sells products from over 650 designers including Prada and Gucci.

Matches has been backed by private equity firm Apax Partners since 2017. 

Frasers is reportedly likely to pay more than £50m for the business, which posted an adjusted EBIT loss of £33.7m for the full year to January 31, 2023, compared to a loss of £25m in the previous year.

During the year, boss Paolo de Cesare stepped down and Nick Beighton was named chief executive, closely followed by a string of appointments including David Murray as chief financial officer, Carl Tallents as chief commercial officer and Andrea Trocino as chief product and technology officer.

Last month, Beighton told Retail Week the retailer had started to deliver “green shoots of progress” as part of its turnaround efforts, and improvements had been made in operational efficiency. 

Beighton said Matches would focus on getting the brand back to profitability and growing “customer love” amid its turnaround strategy after a full-year loss and decline in revenue.