Diego Godin will be considered an Atletico Madrid great after he leaves the club at the end of the season, according to Diego Simeone.
Inter have been heavily linked with signing the 33-year-old, who joined Atleti from Villarreal in 2010, winning the Europa League twice, a LaLiga title, and a Copa del Rey during his time at the club.
And Simeone was full of praise for the Uruguay international, adding that Godin has earned the right to be considered along club greats such as Fernando Torres and Gabi.
"Footballers leave. We've had seven and a half years. We've been able to squeeze the best out of each one of them," Simeone told a news conference.
"Seeing the stage where Diego has said goodbye makes me happy, because the club is growing.
"He's earned a place he deserves, like Fernando, Gabi. Not every player can say goodbye like these boys. They'll remember it forever.
"There was a huge silence when he started to talk. Nobody was leaving the stadium.
"The club's objective is to make a huge effort for important players. At the start, the big step was that [Radamel] Falcao stayed. Then we had [Antoine] Griezmann, [Jan] Oblak come in.
"I feel huge pleasure with the experience he's had.
"This year, we had problems with fitness. Hopefully we can resolve the situation. This year, Godin was going, Filipe Luis was going, then he was staying, and we had to play Saul [Niguez] there.
"[Diego] Costa had a problem, he had to have an operation, he came back in February. [Alvaro] Morata appeared, and with all the inconveniences, we're second [in the LaLiga table]."
Star man Griezmann has again been linked with a move to Barcelona - who he reportedly turned down to sign a new contract at the end of last season - but Simeone is not planning for life without the France forward.
"I was lucky to see him play and the togetherness he has with the fans," Simeone added.
"He's one of the captains, he'll be second captain, we give him the affection we have and until now he has shown us joy, enthusiasm and that he wants to be here."