Dave Penney insists he will not pick the highly-rated Tom Eaves for Oldham Athletic until he signs a new contract.
Eaves has broken into the first-team picture at Boundary Park this season and has made 14 substitute appearances since making his debut against Millwall in January.
His promise has seen the 18-year-old linked with Newcastle United, West Ham United and Wigan Athletic after he was offered a professional deal by the Latics.
However, unlike three of his fellow trainees, Eaves has yet to accept the offer and was left out of Saturday's League One defeat at Yeovil Town.
Oldham boss Penney has confirmed that, until there is a resolution regarding the contract situation, he will not be including Eaves in his plans.
Penney told the club's official website: "Tom wasn't with us because he won't sign a contract with us. And he won't be playing for us until he does."