Plymouth Argyle are hoping to sign on-loan defender Bondz Ngala on a permanent basis in the summer.
Ngala has impressed since joining the Pilgrims from West Ham United last month and is due to be released by the Premier League club at the end of the season.
The 20-year-old has performed solidly alongside Reda Johnson at the heart of the defence and Plymouth boss Paul Mariner is keen to hang on to Ngala in the long term.
Mariner feels the duo can enjoy a lasting partnership at Home Park and he has been delighted by Ngala's impact for the Championship strugglers.
"The partnership of Ngala and Johnson, looking through a crystal ball, is going to be a strong one for the club," Mariner told the club's official website.
"He has obviously been taught well. His feet are good for a big fella, and he's always on the training ground, working at his game. He's just a terrific young man, he really is.
"Reda has taken on a leadership role with the group, which bodes well for the future.
"When we signed him, I thought he would do well, but I didn't think he would be asked to play so many minutes.
"I must say, he has acquitted himself extremely well. He's already a very good professional."
Ngala made two appearances on loan at Scunthorpe United earlier in the season and he has featured just once as a substitute for West Ham.