Mike Ashley is understood to be considering handing over the reins as chief executive of Group to his future son-in-law and the retailer’s head of elevation Michael Murray.

Ashley is understood to be preparing to stand down as chief executive of Group, with an announcement set to come as soon as the retail group’s full-year results are announced on Thursday.

According to The Telegraph, Ashley is expected to take on the role of deputy chairman and hand over day-to-day control of his retail empire to Murray, who is engaged to Ashley’s daughter Anna and currently acts as Group’s head of elevation.

Sources close to the situation stressed, however, that Ashley may yet change his plans about the prospective handover.

Murray has been instrumental in the launch of a range of new upmarket flagships across the Group portfolio including the £10m makeover of its Oxford Street Sports Direct flagship and its Flannels Beauty launch in Sheffield last month.

Murray’s role in diversifying Group’s offer and moving the group’s portfolio upmarket has contributed to the business holding its highest share price since 2015.

It is understood that Murray will be handed a new bonus scheme as part of the transition.

Ashley was previously deputy chair of Group, then known as Sports Direct, until 2016, when long-standing chief executive Dave resigned.

The 56-year-old entrepreneur founded Sports Direct in 1982 and has grown the group in subsequent years to more than 1,000 stores and a stable of brands including House of Fraser, Jack Wills, Flannels, Evans Cycles and Game.

Group did not respond to The Telegraph’s requests for comment.