Relationships between Somerfield and the consortium bidding for the supermarket chain are becoming increasingly strained, media reports say.

The reports claim that hold-ups in the due diligence process have pushed back the timetable for an agreement for a July.

The delays have caused “lots of irritation” and relations are “frosty”, the report said.

The consortium includes Baugur, Barclays and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, which has bid £1.2bn for the retailer.