Sunderland's John O'Shea has no plans to retire yet

Veteran Sunderland defender John O'Shea has insisted he has no plans to retire just yet despite his 37th birthday fast approaching.

The 117-times-capped Republic of Ireland international, who boasts Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup winners' medals from his time at Manchester United among his collection of honours, is out of contract at the end of the season.

However, amid speculation that the current campaign could be his last, he told the club's official website: "When you retire from playing, it's a permanent retirement and there's no going back, and whenever I speak to former pros or team-mates, they all say to play on for as long as you can.

"When I wake up in the morning, my body still feels good -- believe me if it didn't, I'd be the first one to admit it and finish up.

"There's plenty of things to look forward to when my playing career ends, from coaching and management to media and punditry work, and spending more time with my family, but my wife is certainly happy I've decided to play on for another year."

O'Shea is currently engaged in a fight to keep Sunderland in the Championship, but fully intends to play on next season.

He said: "After that, we can sit down and talk about my future, and whether I'm playing here or somewhere else next season.

"But, as has always been the case throughout my career, the club, and what is best for it, has to come first at all times."