Sports Direct is expected to acquire up to half of rival JJB’s 180 stores this week. The deal is likely to lead to the closure of the rest of JJB Sports’ business and a large number of job losses among JJB’s 3,000 staff.

Sports Direct has been among a number of parties interested in taking control of JJB Sports’ most profitable shops. The retailer’s market-leading position may mean clearance is needed from the competition authorities.

JD Sports and DW Sports, the business now run by JJB’s founder Dave Whelan, are also keen to pick up some stores.

It is understood that no buyer is interested in the whole of JJB. Sources familiar with the situation said that a large number of JJB’s shops are unprofitable and hold no appeal to potential new owners.

JJB was formally put up for sale last month after dismal trading. The retailer warned that its shares were likely to be worthless.