JOHN Mousinho is confident about staying at Oxford United beyond this season.

The 34-year-old’s existing deal expires at the end of the month, but talks over fresh terms have been going on for some time.

Mousinho has ambitions to move into coaching once he retires and has been given increasing responsibility in that area this season by U’s boss Karl Robinson.

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But only six players have started more league games for the club in 2019/20 and the centre back believes he still has plenty to offer on the field.

Although as it stands he will technically be a free agent by the time United’s play-off semi-final against Portsmouth is played, the skipper is relaxed about the situation.

He said: “I’m out of contract in a couple of weeks, but it doesn’t feel like it because of how the club have been.

“Because I had expressed my interest to stay at Oxford, not just for next year but the long-term future as well and the club have reciprocated that, we haven’t been in any rush to sort anything out.

“I’m not going to go and sign for another club, unless there’s nothing here.

“I’ve signalled my intentions to the club that I love it here and I feel like we’ve had a lot of success this season, so I really want to sort something out.”

He added: “I think now we’ve got some clarity on the fact the games are going to be played we can accelerate things pretty quickly.

“We’ve pretty much had the discussions anyway.”

Mousinho has played 120 games for United since joining in August 2017.

And while Elliott Moore’s arrival last summer appeared to see the experienced defender move down the pecking order, it brought the best out of him.

“I feel great physically and I’ve certainly had my best season for Oxford, I don’t think any fans would disagree with me on that,” he said.

“I feel certainly for another year I can continue playing.”

But the former Brentford apprentice’s influence is also valued far beyond the pitch.

Robinson has largely given Mousinho a free hand to learn the ropes with a view to a career in coaching.

It has seen him appear on the touchline at times last season in cup games where he was not playing.

Mousinho said: “I’m lucky where the manager really involves me in a lot of the things to do with the non-playing side.

“I have a passion for it and really enjoy taking on those roles and seeing what influence I can have as a player coach.”

He added: “I go into the office sometimes and have a chat with the manager.

“I say ‘this is the way I’d do it if I was in charge’.

“He then says ‘have you thought about the repercussions of that? Have you thought how it would look with the other players or the board?’

“It’s a great learning curve for me, so by the time I do become a coach or a manager I’ve got a balanced view of everything.”