Manchester City have to keep “man mountain” Vincent Kompany on their books, says Shaun Goater, with “the best captain the club could ever have wanted” proving his worth as his contract runs down.
As things stand, the experienced Belgian is due to drop into the free agent pool at the end of the season.
Kompany has already skippered the Blues to one trophy in 2019, while his stunning strike in a crucial 1-0 victory over Leicester has City on course to defend their English top-flight title.
At 33 years of age, and with his injury record taken into account, it remains to be seen where he figures in Pep Guardiola’s future plans.
City legend Goater is, however, adamant that he should be retained in some capacity, telling Sky Sports: "He has been an absolute rock, a man mountain. But it's his leadership, not only on the field but off it as well.
"Whenever you hear him speak, he speaks about this club in the highest way.
"For me, he's been the best captain the club could ever have wanted, and he just has to remain involved in and around this club.
"I, like Vincent, believe he has another few seasons, so we can hope that he's involved from that angle, but if not, we're hoping he's involved in the club at some level."
Guardiola revealed after seeing Kompany net a 25-yard thunderbolt against Leicester that talks are planned at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: "At the end of the season, we are going to talk to Vincent, clearly, he knows.
"He is an incredible human being, an incredible person, he helped me a lot.
"I was sad that we could not use him a lot for the process, but we always know we can count on his personality.
"This club is where it is thanks to guys like Vincent. At the end of the season, after the FA Cup, we are going to decide what is best for both parties.
"I said before that we will finish the season and after we are going to talk. I talked to him three weeks, one month ago.
"We spoke fluently two or three times about it being his last year and after we would take a beer together and going to decide what was best for him and the club. So, there are no problems about that."