Woolworths’ potential saviours are to meet administrators today for a second round of talks to try to save the retailer, with a deal hoped to be sealed by the end of the week.

Theo Paphitis, owner of Ryman, is thought to be a possible bidder, as is Tony Page, who runs Woolworths' store divisions. Both are expected to meet with administrators Deloitte today.

Paphitis is interested in buying a number of Woolworths’ more profitable stores, while Page is thought to be putting together a deal with other members of management.

Administrators have said a large number of interested parties have come forward and are expected to narrow the list down to serious contenders.

Property tycoon Ardeshir Naghshineh, Woolworths’ biggest shareholder, will propose plans to take control of the entire group, including EUK and 2Entertain.

It is thought he plans to turn the business into an employee-owned company like John Lewis.

Supermarket giants Tesco and Waitrose are also interested in purchasing some of the stores.