RICARDINHO is keen to stay at Oxford United as the full back closes in on triggering an extra year’s contract.

If the Brazilian keeps his place in the side against Southend United tomorrow, he will need to start only one of the remaining five games this season to activate an extension clause in the deal he signed last August.

And the 33-year-old wants to take United up on the offer, if he is in head coach Karl Robinson’s plans.

He said: “I want to stay a little bit more, but now we have to talk and see their plans for the future.

“My family is happy and I’m happy to be here. I know we have a big club here and we can do better next season.

“I can see it as a new challenge.

“We have to see who will leave and who will stay and who they will bring to help us.

“But I think we are in good hands with the manager, he is doing well and now he knows who is here and what he needs to do better for the next season.”

Of the six overseas players recruited by Pep Clotet last summer, Ricardinho is the only one to play regularly throughout the season.

He has started more games in Sky Bet League One than the other five put together, but that does not mean adapting to English football has been straightforward.

“Every game is so tough,” he said.

“You never have time to rest during the game.

“Sometimes depending on where you play (in the world) you can keep the ball or decide ‘now we can attack’.

“But here we have to be looking all the time to do your best every single minute because otherwise they will have a chance to score.

“Even if you play against the top-three teams or the bottom-three in the table, they are always hard games.”