Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has told the club's official YouTube channel that James Collins will continue to train with the club despite rumours that he had agreed a contract.
Villa beat Middlesbrough 3-0 on Saturday afternoon, posting a clean sheet just days after a stunning 5-5 draw at home to Nottingham Forest.
Despite that result, Villa's defensive options still look weak, as there is little to no cover behind defenders Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester in the heart of the Villa back line.
Having failed to replace John Terry over the summer, former Villa boss brought free agent Collins in on trial in order to give him a chance to win a contract.
More than two months on from Bruce's exit, Collins is still training with Villa, and the Daily Mail reported on Friday that he was all set to pen a five-week contract to re-sign for Villa, more than six years since leaving for West Ham.
The 35-year-old would be a smart addition over the busy Christmas period, but it seems that no deal has been done just yet.
Smith has revealed that Collins is still only training with Villa and will continue to do so until Smith feels that he is ready to sign a deal and play in the Championship, meaning the Welshman faces a wait.
“He’s still training with us," said Smith. “He’s not had the match exposure that I would want. He’ll continue to train with us until I feel he’s up to the standard where we can make a decision one way or the other,” he added.