COLCHESTER United are in talks with Sam Saunders about extending his stay at the club.

The 35-year-old, who joined the U’s in March, is due to see his short-term contract expire at the end of the month.

But Colchester are keen to keep Saunders at the JobServe Community Stadium and it understood that he is one of several players from last season’s squad who have been offered fresh terms by the League Two club.

U’s head coach John McGreal told the Gazette: “We’re still conversing with Sam.

“We’re in close contact with him.

“He has one or two different things that he’s considering on the football front, at this moment in time.”

Saunders made a positive impression after joining Colchester as a free agent in the final weeks of the 2018-19 season, following his departure from Wycombe Wanderers in January.

The former Brentford midfielder made six appearances for the U’s, as they agonisingly missed out on a place in the League Two play-offs.

Saunders, who has won promotion with three different clubs during his professional career, proved a valuable asset for Colchester.

He was a key midfield performer, especially with Harry Pell sidelined due to a hamstring injury which caused him to sit out the final three months of the campaign.

Saunders finished on the losing side only once for McGreal’s side and the U’s are eager to keep him, as they continue their preparations for the new season.

Colchester are still waiting to hear answers from a number of their other existing squad players who have been offered new contracts, this summer.

Tom Eastman, Dillon Barnes, Rene Gilmartin and Diaz Wright are all due to see their existing deals expire at the U’s, along with last season’s leading scorer Sammie Szmodics.

Szmodics has been linked with a move away from the club this summer, with Bristol City believed to be front-runners for the Colchester-born attacker’s signature.

Meanwhile U’s youngster Noah Chilvers has been named in the LFE (League Football Education) team of the season.

The teenage midfielder, who made his senior U’s debut as a substitute against Newport County in March, was one of 11 young players recognised for their on and off field achievements whilst eligible for the under-18s youth teams across the country.

‘The 11’ acknowledges the football and academic progress of under-18 players on apprenticeships at current or former EFL clubs and is also takes into account other factors such as community involvement or charity-based initiatives.