Micky Adams says Chris Birchall has the desire to do well with Port Vale and the manager hopes the midfielder decides to stay at the club.
Birchall, who began his career at Vale in 2001, has been training with the Burslem club and is waiting to be granted international clearance before finalising a month-to-month deal.
"Chris is a local boy, which is important because he wants to do well for the club. That's the sort of person we want," Adams told the media following his side's 2-1 victory over Gillingham on Saturday.
"It's a cheap signing because Chris has not come here asking for the earth. He wants to play at the highest level he can, but if there's a chance we can persuade him to stay, I'll try."
Trinidad & Tobago international Birchall made 91 appearances for Vale between 2001 and 2006 before linking up with Adams at Coventry and again at Brighton in 2009.
The 27-year-old midfielder is a free agent after leaving MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy in December.