Officially the 32-year-old appeared on the Premier League's list of released players published on Thursday as his contract at The Reebok had expired.
But despite the lure of linking up with former Bolton boss Sam Allardyce at Upton Park in the Championship, the Jamaican is considering a short-term deal offered to him by Wanderers.
"It was very tempting for Ricardo to go and play for Sam, as a former manager, and one he enjoyed a lot of success with," Gardner's representative Phil Graham told The Bolton News. "But he didn't particularly want to relocate, and his family certainly didn't want to relocate.
"He loves the club and the town, and wants to see his career out at Bolton, and more importantly in the Premier League."
One player on the verge of leaving, however, is goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.
It is understood Wigan - the club where he spent last season on loan - are close to matching Bolton's valuation in order to sign the Oman international permanently.