According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa have left the door open for Samba to return to pre-season training, but they have not yet offered him a contract.

The former Congolese international, who is now a free agent, trained with Bruce’s squad for the last 3 months of the season in an attempt to get himself fit again. It was also a very good opportunity for Samba to try and impress Bruce, who is believed to be in the hunt for defenders this summer.

Bruce insisted that this was not a trial for the 33-year-old, but he admitted that he was hopeful that the former Blackburn and QPR defender could get back into shape.

Samba, who also had a training spell at Crystal Palace before arriving at Villa Park in February, is also said to be interesting rivals Birmingham City.

Redknapp managed Samba at QPR, and he will be desperate to sure up his team’s defense so that they don’t have another dreadful season where they just stay up by the skin of their teeth again.