Middlesbrough defender David Wheater could be rewarded for his fine form this season with a new contract.
The 20-year-old has been a key figure in Boro's attempts to stay out of the relegation zone this term and has weighed in with some important goals, including three in the last five matches.
Wheater is out of contract in the summer and Boro boss Gareth Southgate said: "David's having a terrific season.
"The maturity he's shown and the way he's standing up to the challenge of playing against top international players will stand him in good stead.
"He's at a lovely phase in his career where he just goes out and plays and isn't worried about anything else. It's great to watch.
"I'm confident he will be signing a new contract and pretty soon too. He's a Teesside boy and loves playing for the club.
"We give young players a chance more than other clubs do."