JOHN Mousinho has signed a two-year contract with Oxford United.

The club captain’s new deal keeps him with the U’s until summer 2023, when he will be 37.

Mousinho has not played since December having undergone knee surgery, but is in pre-season training with United as he builds up his fitness.

The centre back will continue to take a coaching role alongside his playing duties, but his main aim is contributing on the pitch.

“The number one priority is to keep playing and be available as much as possible and hopefully I can do that,” he said.

“Last season was marred by injury and there were times when I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be back playing.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be able to come back and sign for two years.

“It’s testament to the physio department to get me back in such good shape and the surgeon who did such a good job.

“I’m very excited to get going and be back out on the pitch."

Mousinho has made well over 500 senior appearances for eight clubs in a 16-year playing career.

He has played 132 times for United since joining in August 2017, scoring three goals, but his knee injury restricted him to just nine games last season.

The long-standing issue forced him off at half-time against Northampton Town on December 15 and he went under the knife a month later.

During rehab, Mousinho continued to gain experience on the touchline as part of Karl Robinson’s coaching staff, which he has done since October 2019.

The veteran was also elected chair of the Professional Footballers’ Association in April.

It means Mousinho will be a busy man next season, but he admits nothing can beat being involved on the playing side.

He said: “I still think I’ve got a lot to contribute on the pitch, albeit in a different way to I did a few years back when I first signed for Oxford.

“I’m obviously here to make sure that if called upon I’m able to play in the first team and contribute at that level.

“I’ve also got a big part to play in the development of many of the other players, not just the centre backs.”

Mousinho added: “People say 'play as long as you can' and there’s no substitute for training every day and crossing the white line on Saturdays.”