Southend United have held talks with Watford over signing Adam Thompson permanently.
Thompson, whose Hornets deal expires in the summer, has made 11 appearances for The Shrimpers since he joined the club on loan in the summer.
The 21-year-old's loan deal at the League Two club came to an end after Saturday's 4-1 FA Cup win over Millwall.
But Southend boss Phil Brown is keen to extend the Northern Ireland international's stay, ideally on a permanent deal.
"We’ve spoken to Watford and also to Adam and we want him to stay with us," Brown told the Southend Echo.
"We’re actually looking at getting something done that would keep him here beyond the end of the season because his contract is up at Watford then and we want to try to get it sorted.
"I put him back in to the team against Millwall and asked him to prove a point which he certainly did because he was very impressive back there."
Thompson broke into the Watford team as a 17-year-old under Malky Mackay whilst still a second-year scholar.
He made 11 appearances for the Hornets during the second half of the 2010/11 season before spending most of the following campaign at Brentford during two spells, when he made 22 outings.
Thompson began last season at Watford, starting in the League Cup defeat to Bradford City, before an unsuccessful two-match stint at Wycombe Wanderers, who sacked Gary Waddock during the Hornets academy graduate's stay at Adams Park.
Two more Watford run-outs followed before injury ended a loan spell at League Two Barnet after just one appearance.
Gianfranco Zola gave Thompson another two substitute outings before the end of last season but the young defender was not given a squad number in the summer.