UK supermarket operator Safeway has requested a meeting with retail entrepreneur Philip Green to ascertain how seriously he is interested in buying the chain.

According to the Sunday Times, there is a growing feeling among analysts that Green will walk away from the takeover deal, but Green has not been forthcoming about his intentions. The BHS and Arcadia owner said in January that he was considering making a bid for Safeway.

Interested bidders Tesco, J Sainsbury, Asda and Wm Morrison are being investigated by the Competition Commission to see whether they will be permitted to make bids.

So far only Wm Morrison has submitted a formal bid. The company is most likely to be cleared by the Competition Commission, as its stores have very little geographical overlap with those operated by Safeway.

Green was not referred to the Competition Commission, as he has no interests in the food retail sector.