Carlton have re-signed skipper Marc Murphy until the end of the 2018 AFL season.
The news is a relief for the Blues as the 26-year-old midfield star would have been the subject of enormous offers as a free agent later this year.
Murphy is a former club champion and earned All-Australian honours in 2011.
Defender Andrew Walker has also recently re-signed, although Murphy’s fellow former No.1 draft pick Bryce Gibbs is being hunted by Adelaide and Port Adelaide who are keen to entice the South Australian back to his home state.
“I had no intention of going anywhere else,” Murphy told reporters.
“I just want to say how proud and humbled I am. It’s extremely exciting.
“I didn’t want it (speculation) to hang over my head or the club’s head.”
Murphy said he was confident Gibbs would also remain with the Blues.
Back spasms prevented Murphy from attending Wednesday’s AFL season launch in Adelaide but he says he’s fine to play in Friday’s practice game against Western Bulldogs.
Along with Gibbs, Carlton’s reigning club champion and free agent Kade Simpson is also having contract talks with the Blues.
“I’m very confident those guys will sign on with the club,” Murphy said.
“Where the club’s going, where we want to get to, I’d have no hesitation of those blokes signing on.
“Whenever that happens, that’s for their manager and the club to work out.”