ESSENDON is set to lock away emerging midfielder Darcy Parish to a new two-year deal.
Parish parked his contract talks until later in the year after missing out on selection in Essendon's round one loss to Greater Western Sydney.
But he has hit career-best form since breaking back into the line-up, and AFL.com.au understands the Bombers are set to sign him until the end of 2021.
It is believed rival clubs, who have been tracking Parish's season, have been informed the 21-year-old will be sticking with the Bombers.
He told a club podcast last week that he was hopeful a new deal would be struck soon.
It is good news for the Bombers, who have seen their No.5 pick from the 2015 NAB AFL Draft have his best season at senior level with more midfield time.
He has averaged 21 disposals in 15 games, but since round nine against Fremantle, has lifted that average to 24 a game while also booting 10 goals for the season (a career-high tally).
Parish has proven his best spot to be as a ball-hunting option at the centre bounces, and in recent weeks has shown more confidence with his kicking to be a damaging user in Essendon's midfield.
He is among eight Bombers who played in last week's win over North Melbourne who are out of contract as the end of the home and away season draws closer.
That unsigned group includes match-winner Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.
The small forward leads Essendon's goalkicking this year with 25 majors, with talks likely to come to a head in coming weeks.
Rival clubs are watching with interest given McDonald-Tipungwuti's ability and durability (he has played 82 of a possible 83 games for the Bombers since joining the club at the end of 2015 as a rookie).
Essendon has been discussing a new deal for improved defender Mason Redman, while talks for an extension for Matt Guelfi are in their infancy. Both are expected to be two-year deals.
Defender Aaron Francis, who was edging towards a two-year extension before again being omitted from Essendon's side after round 11, remains unsigned.
He was close to recommitting but talks have been put on hold, likely until the end of the year, as he aims to cement his place in the back half.
Midfielder Dylan Clarke, forward Mitch Brown and ruckman Zac Clarke are also without deals.
Others at the club who look set to head into the end of the year without contracts for 2020 include veteran pair David Myers and Mark Baguley, defender Michael Hartley and rookies Ben McNiece, Trent Mynott and Jake Long.
Untried ruckman Sam Draper is also unsigned, with Essendon hopeful he will remain at the club despite being courted by St Kilda on a lucrative long-term offer.