Andre Villas-Boas has become the latest name to rule himself out of the Saints job.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham manager was third favourite with the bookies to take over from Everton bound Ronald Koeman.

Villas-Boas is a free agent, having left Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg at the end of the season, and could have been a good fit at St Mary’s with his experience and ambition, as well experience of managing in European competition.

However, his agent has confirmed to the Daily Echo that Villas-Boas intends to stick with his plan of taking a six month break from management before considering any offers, thus ruling him out of the Saints job this time around.

Saints still have a wealth of high calibre options, with the likes of Manuel Pellegrini and Fenerbache boss Vitor Pereira still linked with the job, as well as former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes.

A fair few of the names rumoured to be under consideration have fallen away in recent days however.

Indeed, of the eight early favourites with the bookies, six are either out of the running altogether or, in the case of Frank De Boer, looking less likely.

De Boer’s agent confirmed to the Daily Echo there is no interest from Saints, while sources in Bournemouth have said that Eddie Howe has indicated he would not leave the Cherries for a move to St Mary’s at this stage.

Villas-Boas is now out of the running and Unai Emery, who attracted a lot of popular support amongst fans, is reportedly set to join Paris St Germain.

Former Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores is also a no-go after taking charge at Espanyol.

Saints continue to make discreet enquiries behind the scenes as they work on securing a new manager, with Koeman’s departure getting delayed day after day but still expected to take place.

Saints hoped the situation would have been resolved by now, allowing them to go full steam ahead in finding a replacement.

With a compensation deal for Koeman, along with his brother Erwin and fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg, having been agreed last Sunday, the hold-up has been at Goodison Park.

Reports from Merseyside suggest that while the Toffees fully expect the move to still take place, Koeman’s latest holiday has presented a logistical problem in terms of getting contracts finalised.

Koeman returns at the start of next week, so whether Everton can get it over the line before then remains to be seen, with Saints keen a formal announcement is made before the weekend if at all possible.