Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton insists Steven Taylor remains a key part of his squad despite the defender’s contract stand-off.
Taylor could leave St James’ Park on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires.
The 24-year-old defender has failed to reach agreement over a new deal with the Magpies and recent reports have suggested he could be offloaded in January for a small fee rather than walk away for nothing.
However, with the former England Under-21 international close to making his comeback from a dislocated shoulder, Hughton claims he remains an important part of his first-team squad.
“I’m not aware of any progress at the moment,” said Hughton.“We still very much want him at this football club.
“We’re looking at him being back in full training next week. He needs to get fit. We’re aware of what a very good player he is.
“Once he’s back to fitness he very much puts himself back in the frame to play and when that’s the case he’s a very good player.
“For me at this moment he’s very much part of the squad and I want him fit and available for selection. That’s what I’d like.”