TOWN are deep into talks with star defender Nathan Clarke over a two-year contract extension.
The Academy product's current deal runs out at the end of the Third Division season.
Boss Peter Jackson this week agreed fresh terms with defenders Anthony Lloyd and David Mirfin and midfielders Jon Worthington and Andy Holdsworth which run through to the summer of 2006.
Now he wants to follow suit with centre-back Clarke, who was 20 on Sunday.
Sowerby Bridge-based Clarke, whose 15-year-old brother Tom was in action for Town in last night's narrow 1-0 FA Youth Cup third-round defeat by West Ham (report Page 23), won rave reviews when he made his first-team debut under Lou Macari in the 1-1 draw at Stoke in September 2001.
That was the first of 41 appearances that campaign, but injuries to both knees limited him to just three outings last season.
This time, he returned as a substitute in the 3-0 home win over Orient in September and made the starting line-up for the 2-1 win at Southend in October.
Saturday's goalless home draw with Cheltenham marked his 10th appearance of the season.
"Nathan was pretty down in the dumps because of his injury problems when I arived here in the summer," said Jackson.
"That's not surprising, because he's just recovered from the problem with one knee when he damaged the other, and ended up having another operation.
"He's shown determination and character to bounce back from a very worrying time.
"All the hard work he's put in during rehabilitation is paying off now though, and in my view, he's getting better and stronger with every appearance.
"We've had preliminary talks over a new deal and we're now getting into the fine detail.
"It's been a good week in terms of the other four lads signing up, and I'm optimistic we can follow suit with Nathan, because he can have a big say in the future success of this club."