Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is preparing a formal offer of £50million to buy second-tier Championship club Derby County who are currently in administration according to Sky Sports.

Ashley ended his 14-year ownership of Newcastle in October after he agreed to a £300million sale to a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.

Derby, who are managed by former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, entered administration in September amid continued financial problems at the club.

The team, who remain under a transfer embargo, are at the bottom of the Championship on 11 points from 25 matches this season after accepting a 21-point deduction for breaching financial rules and entering administration.

The report claims that Ashley has been in advanced talks with Derby's administrators Quantuma in the last 48 hours.

Ashley's valuation is believed to be bigger than a bid put forward by General Sports Worldwide, which includes former Derby chairman Andrew Appleby and former chief executive Sam Rush.

Quantuma announced last month that naming a preferred bidder was "imminent" after American businessman Chris Kirchner pulled out of the running.