Sports Direct has emerged as the frontrunner to buy football kit maker Umbro after Nike put it up for sale last week.

The sportswear chain owned a 30% stake in Umbro before Nike took it private in a £285m takeover in 2007.

Nike revealed last week that it was seeking to offload Umbro and shoe company Cole Haan to focus on its core brands.

Sports Direct is expected to face competition from private equity firms according to the Sunday Times.

Umbro sales reached $224m (£146m) last year, lower than pre-takeover levels.