China’s richest man has been linked with a takeover move for Saints that would see Nicola Cortese return to the club.

Wang Jianlin, boss of the Dalian Wanda group who recently bought Poole-based luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker, a Saints sponsor, is reported in a national newspaper to be prepared to fund a move to buy the club from Katharina Liebherr.

Jianlin would, according to the report, ask Cortese to return to his role running the club on a day to day basis.

The report states that negotiations are under way for a potential £175m purchase.

However, the Daily Echo understands that no takeover talks are currently ongoing.

Katharina Liebherr is going about the business of finding a new chief executive to take charge and is aiming for a swift appointment.