Chancellor Alistair Darling is understood to be working on plans to allow Northern Rock's £25 billion rescue loan to be extended to any buyer of the crisis-hit group, reports said.
Advisers to the Chancellor are said to be in talks with Brussels officials over ways to continue the Bank of England's emergency loan without breaking European Union rules on state aid.
Mr Darling may announce as early as this week that any successful bidder can keep the loans already made to stricken Northern Rock, thought to total £25 billion. It is believed the announcement will be made in a "statement of principles" set to be outlined by Mr Darling, which will put forward the Government's hopes for the future of Northern Rock.
The Treasury declined to comment on yesterday's reports, but confirmed the statement of principles would be announced "within days".
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to nationalise Northern Rock and demanded that Mr Darling appeared before the House of Commons today to answer questions on the bank's position.
Northern Rock chief executive Adam
Applegarth and a number of non-executive directors announced their resignation late on Friday as the informal deadline for bids passed.
Reports suggest as many as eight parties have expressed interest in Northern Rock, although so far only four have gone public with proposals.
They are New York-based private equity firm JC Flowers, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money, Cerberus, another US private equity firm, and Olivant, an investment group headed by former Abbey chief executive Luqman Arnold.
Mr Arnold's proposals to parachute a heavyweight management team in to turn around the business - a quicker move than a full-blown takeover - has received support from the Northern Rock Shareholders Action Group, which was "favourably impressed" by the plan.
But the key hurdle for any proposals will be dealing with the huge Bank of England debt racked up by the company. The loans are technically deemed to be rescue aid under EU rules and the regulations are said to block the bank from receiving state aid for longer than six months - giving a deadline of February.
Reports have suggested that Treasury lawyers are hoping to get round the rules by changing the status of the loans to "restructuring aid", which would help smooth the way for a takeover.
Mr Darling said last week that he wanted the future of Northern Rock sorted out in a "matter of weeks".
But hopes of securing a takeover could face opposition from two major shareholders, according to one report, which said that hedge funds RAB Capital and SRM Global, which hold around 13 per cent of Northern Rock shares, are against a break-up or sale and want to keep the bank independent.
Newcastle-based Northern Rock was thrown into turmoil in September when it was forced to turn to the Bank of England for emergency lending after its borrowing costs soared amid the summer credit crunch - sparking the first run on a UK bank in more than 150 years.
Mr Darling was forced to step in to guarantee the deposits of the bank's customers after thousands queued to withdraw their savings two months ago.