Juan Mata’s contract at Manchester United expires in the summer and he would be free to talk to other clubs in January about a move away from the club.

However, in an interview with ESPN, Mata has claimed he hopes he can continue at United and would sign an extension if one was offered.

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.

Mata was full of praise for his teammates and claimed that this is one of the best squads he has ever been a part of.

I think at United right now we have a fantastic squad. We have a good mix of experienced players and young players, players who know the Premier League really well. We have signed great additions to the squad. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s definitely one of the most complete squads that I have been in.

We play so many different tournaments, not just the Premier League, the cups and the Champions League and we need to be ready. We need to have a deep squad if you want to compete until the end in every single trophy so I think the manager if happy with the squad. As a team, we feel confident and really happy with each other. I think there is a good atmosphere in the dressing room. Hopefully we can do great things together.

Manchester City are enjoying a brilliant season under Pep Guardiola but Mata says United’s goal is still very much about winning the league.

They are doing very good. They are winning so many games, scoring a lot of goals but we need to do our bit, which is try to get three points after three points and after that we are in a position where we have to wait because we are not on top.

I think we are close and in the Premier League anything can happen in two or three weeks — especially at Christmas time when there are so many games. Every team can drop points and we have to be ready for that. We need to keep doing our job which is trying to keep up the pace.

We are a group with big passion for the club and with big intentions in terms of trying to lift the Premier League again for Manchester United. That’s without a doubt.