Sky Sports understands that Blackburn Rovers have handed professional terms to Jack O'Connell.
The highly-rated defender is tipped for the very top and Rovers are hoping they will be the ones to benefit from his talents.
The 18-year-old, who can operate at left-back or as a centre-half, made the step up into reserve set-up at Ewood Park in 2011/12 and is expected to be knocking on the first-team door in the near future.
Blackburn fended off interest from a number of their North West rivals to bring O'Connell into their academy ranks and are determined to ensure that he remains on their books.
It is understood that the youngster has agreed to commit his immediate future to the club by penning a two-year deal.
Rovers will welcome positive news on the contract front, with the club still coming to terms with their relegation out of the Premier League.