Colchester United have handed a two-and-a-half-year professional contract to young midfielder Alex Gilbey.
The Colchester-born 17-year-old is a product of the U's youth academy and is captain of the club's under-18 side.
Meanwhile, boss John Ward has told BBC Essex he has spoken to Watford manager Sean Dyche about extending the loan spell of striker Gavin Massey.
"It's something I want to do. Watford were happy, I'm happy and Gavin Massey's happy," he said.
Massey, 19, has yet to open his scoring account in three games for the U's and is set to return to Vicarage Road after Saturday's trip to Yeovil, a club he spent the early part of the season with.