The 32-year-old former Cardiff and Wales defender has been on trial with the club during pre-season and Ardley would like to keep the player this season.
Speaking to the club's official website, Ardley said: "At our Meet the Manager event, I told supporters that we were planning to go with three centre-backs and six defenders overall, even though I felt that left us a little bit light.
"That had allowed for a potential loan signing should we have needed one. However, Rhys has impressed us a lot. I played with him at Cardiff City, but you do not know how a player is going to come back after having a spell abroad.
"Rhys has done exceptionally well during his trial and we know that he can play anywhere across the back. We had talks with Rhys about offering him the funds that we had set aside for a loan and we hope that is something that he can do.
"I am hoping over the next couple of days that we may be able to sign Rhys; he would be a good addition before the start of next season and he knows what we are trying to do.
"It is not a change of heart, but it is just more of a surprise that we may able to afford him and hopefully we can get this one over the line."