Saints are pursuing other options in the bid to sign a top fly-half after a bid to bring Dan Biggar to Franklin’s Gardens hit the buffers.
The club are extremely keen to replace JJ Hanrahan, who will be returning to Munster this summer, with a world class No.10.
And after interest was shown in George Ford, who prefers a move back to Leicester Tigers, a big play was made for Wales star Biggar.
But with the 27-year-old on a dual contract funded 60 per cent by the Welsh Rugby Union and 40 per cent by the Ospreys, the WRU blocked the move.
Biggar’s current deal runs until 2018 with the option of a further year, and Saints are now looking elsewhere for a big signing.
The club have already signalled their intent by snapping up Australia star Rob Horne, who will move to Saints on a three-year deal at the end of the new Super Rugby season.
Jim Mallinder has regularly stated the need for top-class backline recruits to add to his team’s attacking game.
And the Saints director of rugby will leave no stone unturned in his mission to enhance his options at 10, providing competition for Stephen Myler, who is contracted until the summer of 2018.