The Saints have been linked to the 26-year-old star, as have several other rival clubs, but recent off-field transgressions which have resulted in a club imposed $25,000 suspended fine have raised questions about the potential recruitment of gun Pie.
“We’d have to do our homework and have a look at exactly what has happened and taking all the evidence as you do when you bring in any player, especially opponents from another club,” Ratten told media on Wednesday.
“You’re looking at the on field performance, and you’re looking at what you’re trying to build as a football club and culture and that as well. So we take in both sides of the equation, and then we make decisions around there and all those free agents will be singled out and sort of maybe targeting one or two, if it’s possible."
Ratten confirmed that De Goey had been mentioned in list management discussions at the club, as had most other free agents.
“Our club looks at all free agents in the competition. He’s one of those but you know, that’s more of a question for at least management and what we do as a club going forward,” Ratten said.
“So yeah, he’s a name that’s been brought up, as has probably 15 others maybe 20 others that are out (of contract). We look at everyone that is there as a free agent.”
The skipper has been sidelined since Round 9 with an AC joint injury, making a speedy recovery to rejoin his side on the field after just 43 days. Ratten was quick to praise Steele's persistence during the rehab process, but warned welcoming back the two-time best and fairest winner wouldn't be a magic fix for the side after a dismal showing against the Bombers.
"Some of our work around the stoppage and the contest has been down over the last couple of weeks and he excels in that part of the ground," Ratten said.
"But it's not like we get Jack back in and it fixes it.
"He's one part of it, and with his leadership I think he will influence others and give them confidence as well and I think that will help the group."
After the shock 35-point loss to Essendon, the Saints are hoping to make amends against top-eight rival Sydney, with some changes expected at the selection table. Marcus Windhager impressed with 31 disposals and two goals in the VFL after being unused as the medi-sub on Friday night, while out-of-favour forward Cooper Sharman booted three goals for the Zebras.