Sports Direct is set to acquire the leases of around 30 LA Fitness gyms as founder Mike Ashley makes a play for the fitness market.

The sportswear retailer is eyeing the sites which were put up for sale as part of LA Fitness’ restructuring. It is thought a deal could be unveiled in the next few days.

It is unclear how Ashley plans to brand the sites.

The move follows that of arch rival JD Sports, which opened its first gym in February in Hull.

Sports Direct owns a range of brands that are complementary to the fitness market. Dunlop, Everlast and LA Gear are part of Sports Direct’s stable.

If Sports Direct goes ahead with the acquisition it would be the latest deal in a busy year for Ashley.

He has already snapped up a stake in Debenhams, which he sold and swapped for an option over a larger share within days of the buy, and a 11% stake in House of Fraser.