Dundee United approach St Johnstone about Tommy Wright

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright guided the team to a Scottish Cup triumph in 2014
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright guided the team to a Scottish Cup triumph in 2014

Dundee United have approached St Johnstone for permission to speak to their manager Tommy Wright.

Saints chairman Steve Brown has said any approach for the 52-year-old boss would be "flatly turned down".

United are seeking to replace Jackie McNamara, who was sacked last week.

BBC Scotland has learned discussions have already taken place with ex-Rangers boss Stuart McCall and former United players Mixu Paatelainen and Alan Irvine - the ex-West Brom manager.

Brown's statement on the St Johnstone website on Monday said: "The manager has never indicated that he wishes to leave the club. I have spoken with Tommy regarding this particular matter and he has reiterated to me that he is more than happy at Saints.

"Since I appointed Tommy, I have had a good working relationship with him and we are both striving to maintain the success we have enjoyed in recent seasons and therefore, regardless of any approach and any level of compensation that might be offered, it will be flatly turned down.

"It is important to me that all St Johnstone supporters are assured that we intend for Tommy to remain at the club beyond his current contract which already runs to June 2017."

Former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Wright took charge at McDiarmid Park in June 2013. Within a year he led them to their first major trophy in their 130-year history when they beat Dundee United to win the Scottish Cup.

Former Cowdenbeath, Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Finland boss Paatelainen was at Tynecastle on Saturday to watch Killie's game against Hearts, who are United's first opponents after the international break.