Moses Mbye won't be farewelling Canterbury any time soon if coach Dean Pay has any say in it.
Mbye has been linked with a number of rival clubs in recent weeks as the Bulldogs attempt to navigate their way through a salary cap hell that beckons over the next two seasons.
However ahead of Sunday's match against Cronulla, Pay labelled Mbye as a critical piece of the future.
"Moses has improved out of sight this year. He's really embraced playing fullback so he's worked really hard on his game. Going forward, he's a part of this club and he's massive part," Pay said on Friday.
His comments come as the Bulldogs announced the signing of Penrith winger Christian Crichton on a three-year deal beginning next season.
"He provides us with a quality option in the outside backs and is part of our overall recruitment plan moving forward," Bulldogs boss Andrew Hill said.
The club on Thursday declared it had five spots to fill in its 30-man squad next year, but will be limited to only offering minimum wage deals unless they can release some players.
Crichton is believed to be one of those players, in what will be a welcome addition to a roster that has just two wingers signed on.
The recruitment arrives a day after the Bulldogs opened their books to both the playing group and a members forum to dispel suggestions the club would struggle to fill their quota of players in 2019.
And while the club are adamant they are not actively shopping stars on back-ended contracts to get under the cap, they refused to guarantee all players would see out their deals.
Canterbury officials confirmed up to 10 players are on substantially increased deals until the 2020 season, with Mbye understood to be one such player.
Mbye is currently among the league leaders in tackle busts, kick returns and goalkicking percentage, leading to Pay trumpeting his star's move from the halves to fullback as a success.
"For me, yeah it is. I think that's his spot. He's a natural runner of the footy and playing fullback, I think that's where he gets the best out of himself," Pay said.
Pay also said it was pleasing to see the club explain their cap situation to the fans in what was his first forum since being appointed as coach last September.
"Obviously we're looking to recruit some younger players and get some games into those young guys. We need to be really smart with what we're doing," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to the challenge. We've got a group of guys here that have signed for next year, so they're all excited about what's coming in the future."