Mata addresses dwindling Manchester United contract issue

Juan Mata would be open to signing a new contract at Manchester United as he wants to compete at the highest level until he is 40.

The Spain international is currently tied to the Red Devils until the summer of 2018, although there is a 12-month extension option in that agreement.

United are likely to trigger that clause, but fresh terms could also be tabled to keep the 29-year-old at Old Trafford.

Mata admits he is prepared to open negotiations, with there a desire on his part to emulate the achievements of club legend Ryan Giggs.

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He told ESPN FC when pressed on whether he could pen a new deal: “Why not? I'm 29 and, hopefully, I can play football for some more years.

“It would be great to play until I'm 40 like Ryan Giggs. But that's still a bit far, still 11 years.

“I'm happy here. The club is massive, the support we have is massive. I've been settled down in the city since year one. Now it's my fourth year in Manchester.

“You never know what can happen in football and in life. But my feeling now is that I'm happy here and I wouldn't have any problem continuing here for more time.”

While fully focused on his playing career for now, and the foreseeable future, Mata has also admitted that he intends to stay in football when the time comes to hang up his boots.

As a World Cup and European Championship winner, and a man who has graced the books at Valencia, Chelsea and United, he has plenty of knowledge to pass on in a coaching or managerial capacity.

Mata added on the path he plans to tread: “If you had asked me a few years ago whether I wanted to be a manager, I would say no.

“I think every footballer, after 20 years playing football, the first thing that comes to your mind is to relax. One, two years gap and do other things in life and enjoy other hobbies you might have.

“Right now, with years of understanding the game better, understand more the tactical approach or communicate with team-mates, how to motivate them, I wouldn't say no to becoming a manager but I don't know.”

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