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Juan Mata 'happy to stay at Manchester United'

Mata 'happy to stay at Manchester United'
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Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata reveals that he would have no problem in staying at the club, and hinted at a career-long stay in the city.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed that he would have no problem in staying at the club, and said that he hopes to play as long as former player Ryan Giggs.

Mata was reunited with Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford after the former Chelsea manager allowed the Spaniard to leave the Blues, and there was speculation that Mata could have suffered a similar fate in Manchester.

The 29-year-old, who has been a key figure for United in recent seasons, has an option in his current deal to extend his stay in the city by a further year. The former Valencia man has earmarked a possible longer-term stay, however.

"Why not?" Mata told ESPN when asked if he could finish his career in Manchester.

"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."

United failed to guarantee their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League after defeat to Basel on Wednesday night.

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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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