Gloucestershire have entered contract discussions with overseas batsman Michael Klinger with a view to keeping him at the club beyond this season.
The Australian opener was brought in as captain for last term and finished their top run scorer in all formats.
The 33-year-old is contracted until the end of the 2014 campaign, but director of cricket John Bracewell confirmed he wanted give him a longer deal.
"He is vital to us," Bracewell told BBC Points West.
"In terms of on-field development and dressing room control, he offers all the skills.
"We'd love to keep him long term and we're talking to him with regards to that.
"He has a young family, so there's a lot of things he needs to tick off. But he's an essential part of our programme."
Klinger made 2,173 runs for Gloucestershire in all competitions last season, including four Championship centuries and an average of 87.75 in the YB40.
He returned to his native Australia in September to play for South Australia in the domestic first-class and 50-over competitions and in the Big Bash for Adelaide Strikers.
Klinger will once again captain Gloucestershire for the forthcoming campaign, which starts on Sunday with their Division Two match at Glamorgan.