Sporting Goods retailer Sports Direct may appoint founder Mike Ashley to the position of executive chairman, it has been reported.

Ashley, who is currently the company's deputy chairman, make take on the role amid efforts to find a non-executive deputy to work alongside him, The Financial Times newspaper reported.

Sports Direct, set to announce its interim results tomorrow, has kept its cards close close to its chest regarding any possible appointments though. A Sports Direct spokesperson said the company was not commenting today (18 December), when contacted by just-style.

The company has, also today, sold its Original Shoe Company chain to JJB Sports for GBP5m (US$10.1m) in cash, and is reportedly in the midst of negotiating the sale of its stake in Umbro to Nike, as part of a wider takeover.

Sports Direct currently holds a 29.9% stake in Umbro - enough to block the takeover - while UK rival retailer JJB Sports has a 10% stake in the football brand, which Nike is looking to acquire through a GBP285m all-cash deal.