Former Atletico Madrid captain, Gabi believes Jan Oblak is as important to the club as French forward Antoine Griezmann.
Oblak is regarded as one of the best shotstoppers in the world and has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
The 25-year-old who joined Los Rojiblancos in 2014 was a target of Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea last summer.
But the Slovenian stayed back, with both teams eventually signing Alisson Becker and Kepa Arrizabalaga from Roma and Athletico Bilbao.
Oblak is tied to the Spanish club till 2021 but Gabi expects his former side to extend his contract to avoid losing him to bigger clubs.
Speaking on El Partidazo show COPE, the 35-year-old defensive midfielder who’s now with Qatari outfit Al Sadd said:
“Oblak is as decisive as Griezmann, he gives points to Atletico,”
“Atleti are going to make a big effort to stay and he will want to stay, I am sure he will continue.
“His situation is difficult. I am convinced that he would like to renew his contract. I am sure they will reach an agreement.”
Wage demands could be a stumbling block to the player signing a new contract and Spaniard admits the club could find it hand meeting his financial demands.
“All players grow and keeping players of such a high level in a club that does not have a big budget is difficult. You cannot keep everyone with the highest salaries,” he continued.
“The club is in a complicated situation. It is not that the Atleti does not want to renew the players, they just have to work with the resources available.”
Oblak’s current team-mate Juanfran feels different though, as he expects the club to break the bank and keep the goalkeeper.
“I would try to do everything possible and I hope he has the will,” Juanfran told El Larguero.
“Players sometimes leave the team, others come and there is no problem. [Sime] Vrsaljko left and [Santiago] Arias came.
“I would give him the blank cheque because he deserves it.”