MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: (L-R) Charlie Curnow, Patrick Cripps and Harry McKay of the Blues thank fans during the 2018 AFL round eight match between the Carlton Blues and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Carlton forward Harry McKay has been backed as the Blues’ next skipper, with two-time premiership player Cameron Mooney also stating Carlton need to lock away their prized spearhead, per Fox Sports.

The 22-year-old is contracted with the Blues for 2021, but Mooney believes the club should be looking to secure his name for the long-term.

When speaking on Fox Footy’s The First Crack, Mooney said:“Harry McKay was just interviewed by the boys, (he’s) 22 years of age. I’ve actually got him written down as the next captain.”

“I think this kid has everything. But in all seriousness, he runs out of contract at the end of next year, he’s got 12 months to go.

“If I’m Carlton and I’m not talking about the big bucks, if you can get away with it without paying the big bucks, but I’m extending him as much as I can.

“Four years, as soon as I can. He’s No.1 forward for five to eight years for this club.”

Mooney added that once fellow prized forward Charlie Curnow returns to fitness, the Blues could boast one of the leagues best forward pairings.

“We know there’s a great player in Charlie Curnow waiting in the wings if he can get his knee right, who knows what is going to happen with Charlie,” he added.

“We hope he is going to get better and be the player we want him to be. But Harry is the key forward for the next five to eight years.

“I’m signing him up now because next year Carlton if you haven’t signed him, there are 17 other clubs banging on the door ready to give him $800,000 a year minimum, so I would get into it now so I can maybe just pay him $600,000-$700,000, trying and get him for cheap now.”

Former Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy lauded McKay’s Friday night perforce against the Suns on Friday.

“He’s got such physical advantage, he’s so tall and covers the ground. It’s where he wins the ball, he’s so big but he’s able to get off his opponent,” he said.

Mooney backed the Blues to get a deal done quickly for McKay, but expressed the need to cash in early for the forward.

“You can see he is starting to get it. He’s 6ft 8in, 100kg and nimble, beautiful left peg and is starting to have a midfield that is winning the ball,” he said.

“We all have nights where you don’t kick it that well, but he is seriously that No.1 forward and target for a long, long time. I am signing him up as quick as I can as cheap as I can if I’m Carlton.

“Doesn’t mean you go cheap and give him nothing … get in now while you can before 17 clubs can.

“If I’m here, I‘m going to get the extra four years. I’m not a big person on young players getting big contracts, but there are clubs that are going to pay it. I think five year security, really good money and you have a team building around you.

“You have a captain in the centre, your backline is getting a cohesion and your midfield is coming through with a really good forward line in the making. It’s a promising group sitting one game out of the finals.”