Debenhams is looking to raise £200 million from existing lenders in an attempt to fend off rising interest from Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley.

The sports retailer already owns a 30% stake in the department store chain, and earlier this month said it is willing to provide £150m of funding, in return for sacking almost all of the board and placing Mike Ashley as chief executive.

Existing lenders have until Thursday next week to approve the move, which Debenhams says will allow it to restructure while giving it "liquidity headroom" and "deliver stability" for its customers and its staff.

However, the retailer warned that shareholders could still be removed if things go south.

Debenhams also said it is planning to accelerate its move to close 20 stores this year.

In its appeal to existing lenders, Debenhams said the cash injection "would allow the company to enter into new money facilities and give Debenhams the ability to pursue restructuring options to secure the future of the business".