Mike Ashley is reportedly set to hand control of his retail empire to his prospective son-in-laww after nearly 40 years in charge of Sports Direct.

The Telegraph reported that the Frasers Group chief executive could confirm the decision alongside the firm’s results on Thursday.

It is expected that he will become the deputy chairman of the FTSE 250 group upon confirmation that he is leaving the top job.

Michael Murray, who is engaged to Ashley’s daughter Anna, is expected to step into the top job.

31-year-old Murray is currently the firm’s “head of elevation” and has been in charge of modernise the retail group, as well as taking it in a more upmarket direction.

Ashley has long been one of the high street’s most colourful characters. Since founding Sports Direct in 1982, he has snapped up a number of British brands, often in controversial circumstances.

Frasers Group now owns Evans Cycles, Game, Jack Wills, Flannels and House of Fraser, among others. Recently, Ashley launched a bid to take over the newly collapsed Debenhams, but the coup failed.

He also owns Newcastle FC, though he has been looking to offload the club in recent months.