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John O’Shea reveals he wants to play on and discusses Stewart Donald takeover hopes

John O'Shea.
John O'Shea.

Sunderland captain John O’Shea wants to extend his club career for another season, but remains in the dark about his Sunderland future.

O’Shea’s current deal expires at the end of June and he had expected to learn his fate this week, following the end of the league season.

Marc Wilson, Kazenga LuaLua and Billy Jones also see their contracts come to an end but no decision has been taken while Stewart Donald waits for his takeover to be approved by the EFL.

O’Shea hopes that comes quickly and the club gets a fresh start.

In an interview with former Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane for the Off the Ball podcast, he said: “We just wait and see, I’m out of contract at the end of June.

“When I signed last season I thought we’ll see how the body copes. I played more than I thought but we’ll wait and see.

“The last couple of years have not gone to plan for the club and that goes for the players as well, it has been hugely frustrating.

“You know yourself, Kevin, what a fantastic club it is and fingers crossed it gets sorted as soon as possible with the new owner and a new manager, because we showed at stages last season, not enough obviously, that we could get results.

“The backlog of injuries, signings, changing of managers has caught up with the club and it has been a terrible downwards spiral. Hopefully the EFL approval goes through.”

O’Shea also opened up on his decision to retire from international duty, with his last game approaching.

He will retire as the third most capped player in the Republic of Ireland’s history.

He said: “I’d spoken to Martin previously, the games against Denmark in particular, he was probably aware that I wouldn’t go on for the next campaign, the ideal scenario was to go to Russia. That would have been the plan but once that was out the way, I just wanted to get the season out of the way.

“I spoke to Martin and he said ‘what about being captain for the USA game’ and I thought that would be a nice way to finish things up..”

In his final programme notes of the season, O’Shea thanked the Sunderland support should his time at the club come to an end.

He wrote: “My contract is also up at the end of the season and at this moment my future remains unclear.

“If this is my final game with the club, the only thing I can say is thank you.

“Throughout my time here the supporters have been nothing short of outstanding, and you’ve stood by the team whether we’ve deserved it or not.

“When I signed a one-year deal last summer I was determined to play my part in taking the club back where it belongs. For many reasons, that hasn’t happened.

“But whatever the future holds for me personally, I sincerely hope that everything that makes this club so special shines through on and off the pitch.

“I might not be back but Sunderland will be. Thanks for the support.”

After the club’s relegation was confirmed, the veteran defender said the club must recruit more robust players this summer.

He said: “What’s needed in the Championship, the power and durability that teams who are successful have.

“Ultimately, they have that core, whether it be eight or nine playing pretty much every week, mid to late 20s, banging out 7/8 out of 10 performances every week. You see that in every team that wins promotion, really.”