Brady reveals professional contract talks are ongoing with teenage striker Chukwuemeka
Boss Jon Brady says the Cobblers are talking with Caleb Chukwuemeka's agent about the player signing a professional contract at Sixfields - insisting the teenage striker is 'in the best place' to develop his career.
The 19-year-old is something of a hot property, having made 28 appearances for the Town first team last season, but he is still only on a scholarship contract with the club
Mainly used from the bench, he only made four starts, the front man has shown flashes of his undoubted ability in a Cobblers shirt.
He also scored his first League goal in October's 3-2 win at Wigan Athletic, but Brady insists the player still has a lot to learn, and is a long way off being the finished article.
Chukwuemeka - whose younger brother Carney is a regular in the England age-group teams and has featured in the first team squad for Aston Villa this season - is regularly linked with reported interest from Premier League and Championship clubs.
Tying him down to a professional contract, as well as securing the services of an exciting player for the Cobblers, would also protect the club and their years of work in developing Chukwuemeka by ensuring he is not allowed to leave merely for compensation.
Brady, who helped bring the striker through the youth system at the Cobblers, has confirmed discussions are ongoing about him committing to the club.
"We are open and transparent about this," said the Cobblers boss, who announced Chukwuemeka as one of the 10 players still under contract for next season in the retained list announced this week.
"Caleb is on his scholarship contract for most of next season, and we are talking to his agent about a professional contract.
"He still has a lot of developing to do, and he is in the best place right now to do that.
"I was his youth team manager, I am now his first team manager, and I know what is needed for Caleb to develop even further."
And he added: "At this football club we are trying to do our best to keep our best talent here.
"That is all we can do, so we are in that position at the moment where we are talking positively, doing our best to keep hold of him.
"We will give them time, but that is where we are at the moment."