The SuperSport United midfielder has been in Europe for over two weeks and club communications manager David Skosana confirmed to Times Media that he is not yet back with the Tshwane side.
It bodes well for his potential move, where he would join compatriot Thibang Phete, who has just been elevated to the first team and appeared in the club’s last two Super Liga matches.
There has also been media speculation that Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu will sign at Vitoria either in January or at the end of the current season.
Asked for comment by KickOff.com on his client's progress at Vitoria, Nel's agent Mark Williams [not the former Bafana Bafana international striker] replied with a terse "ask Stan Matthews". Matthews, who is Director of Football at SuperSport, was not available for comment.
Nel burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old when he made his debut for SuperSport in a League clash with Lamontville Golden Arrows in November 2013. Months earlier he had been signed from the Old Mutual Academy in Cape Town.
A man-of-the-mtch performance against touring Manchester City before the start of last season drew further plaudits, but he made just 10 starts in the season as United battled for form.
He has not played at all this campaign with the club setting a priority of a move abroad.