STUART McCall believes Josh Cullen can continue his football education with City as they look to rubber-stamp a loan extension for the rest of the season.

The Bantams boss is optimistic that a deal will be struck with the West Ham midfielder, whose current stay is up after the weekend matches with Bury and Northampton.

Cullen has already indicated he would be willing to remain at Valley Parade and the deal has got the green light from his parent club.

McCall said: “West Ham are more than happy for him to come back to us, Josh would be very happy to stay and I would be very happy for him to be here until the end of the season.

“The clubs have still got to discuss certain things but I know everyone’s thoughts on it, including the players and the supporters.

“I’m very hopeful that Josh will still be our player for the second half of the season.

“He’s got an old head on young shoulders in everything. He doesn’t go overboard.

“He’s very assured and he’s like that with the way he goes about his training, his football and way he goes about his life.

“I’ve spoken to people at West Ham about him and he’s got the mould of a really good, experienced player. It’s as if he’s had ten years in the game.

“Everything about him is first class and he’s a smashing kid. Naturally I’d love to keep him.”

City beat off competition from the likes of Bolton in the summer to bring Cullen back for a second stint after last season’s three-month loan spell.

McCall added: “(Chairman) Edin (Rahic) and the club did well to get him here in the first place.

“It shows that the club do look after players when they come here, especially the young ones.

“You can sort deals out with clubs. The bottom line is that it’s down to the player.

“You can agree everything but you need to get the feelings of the player and the feeling with Josh is he wants to stay.

“He’s had a really good football development here. The other day he played in front of 21,500 against good players at this level.

“It’s sensible for him to carry it on.”

Meanwhile, McCall revealed that talks on a possible move for Dundalk prospect Michael O’Connor are in the early stages. The 18-year-old, who had options from Bournemouth and Sheffield United according to Irish sources, would be seen as one to develop.

Preparations are underway for the transfer window and McCall held a “six-hour” meeting with Rahic, James Mason and chief scout Greg Abbott on Wednesday.

He said: “There are discussions going on behind the scenes. We’re getting inquiries for our players, just like we’re inquiring about others.

“The discussions we had were positive. We all want the same thing – how we get there is a different matter.”