The Works chief executive Chris Boardman is understood to be considering a management buy-out following the retailer’s collapse at the start of the month.

A source close to the company said: “There’s been lots of interest in the business, but management sees the potential. Chris Boardman is the important cog.” Boardman was unavailable for comment as Retail Week went to press.

More than 30 parties, including some of the UK’s biggest booksellers, are thought to be interested in acquiring a number of stores.

Administrator Kroll has given a deadline of February 22 for expressions of interest to be submitted.

The 317-store bargain bookseller went into administration two weeks ago.

Its bank, HSBC, was thought to be mulling a rescue package, but decided against it at the last minute.