Saints will not base their decision on whether to stick with Claude Puel or axe the Frenchman go based on another club coming in for him.

Saint Etienne are reportedly keen to try and bring Puel back to his home country for next season after they axed Christophe Galtier.

Puel is believed to be one of several names on the Saint Etienne shortlist with the Ligue 1 club well aware that the manager’s stay at St Mary’s could soon come to an end.

There has been a theory that Saints may wait for a formal approach for Puel before letting him leave, as it would mean not having to pay compensation and would be seen as a move that would suit all parties.

The situation would be vaguely similar to George Burley’s move from Saints to the Scotland job in 2008, when it seemed the switch suited all parties rather well.

However, Saints are unconcerned by interest in Puel from elsewhere, and are not factoring it into their decision making process.

Puel has two years remaining on his Saints contract and the club are prepared to pay the appropriate severance package if they opt to go in a different direction.

Vice-chairman of football Les Reed is still mulling over the best way ahead with Ross Wilson, and is determined not to rush into a decision that they might regret.

Saints do keep a shortlist of potential managerial targets should they end up needing to find a new boss, but the club will want to be sure they can land who they would want should they opt to make a change after one season under Puel.

Thomas Tuchel has been linked after leaving Borussia Dortmund.

He is a manager who Saints are believed to have tracked in the past, but whether they could realistically attract him at this stage remains to be seen.

Daily Echo: