Saints have paused Cuco Martina’s £2.5m move to Everton while they assess the damage to Jeremy Pied.

The French right back, who only signed a two-year deal at St Mary’s just over three weeks ago, has injured his knee in training.

Saints are waiting for the results of scans, but it is feared that Pied could spend an extended spell on the sidelines.

Pied was signed as competition for Cedric Soares, and with Martina therefore seen as surplus to requirements the club were ready to make a healthy profit on a player they signed for just £1m a year ago and allow him to link-up again with Ronald Koeman.

However, that deal has been shelved for the time being while Saints wait for the final diagnosis on Pied.

If he is likely to be out for a prolonged stretch then Saints have to reassess their options.

They could do an about turn and keep Martina at the club and use him as the back-up to Cedric, or they could take the money on the table from Everton and dip into the market to bag another right back, either permanently or on loan, who fits the attacking style Puel wants.

Puel said: “We will see. It is a problem, it is a question for Cuco also.

“We will see if the seriousness of the injury, we will see with Cuco stay or the possibility of another player coming.

“We will see the gravity of the injury with Jeremy, it is a problem.”

He added: “I think we have good possibilities with Cedric. He’s a good player.

“For Cuco he still has one year of contract and the possibility to earn another contract with perhaps three or four years with another team and that is interesting to him.

“It’s important also to listen to the player and his situation.

“It’s important to have two good players for every position.”

Puel was also asked about Jay Rodriguez’s likely loan move to West Brom and admitted: “For Jay also we will see for the next days.

“I think it’s a very good player, I like him and I like his game.

“The question with Jay is to know if it will be better to play with regularity in a team or for example stay with us sometimes to play.

“He stays two years injured and it’s difficult to come back. I see good technique with qualities and it’s important he comes back with good confidence and a good physical level also to make good games.

“With Jay it is to see it is interesting to stay with us or perhaps a loan with another club.

“I like this player and his profile.”

Puel will tomorrow go in search of his first win as Saints boss as Sunderland visit St Mary’s.

While Pied is out, Ryan Bertrand is touch and go to play his first game of the season after injury, while Oriol Romeu has recovered from the knock that forced him off at Old Trafford.