Lionel Messi stands ready for further speculation that his future is outside Barcelona after the Argentine ace admitted he was tempted by the opportunity to play in Major League Soccer (MLS) before putting on his boots .
Speculation about Messi’s future has been rife since his harsh edict in August calling for the club to leave the club he has represented since childhood and which ultimately fell into a close fit with the Barcelona hierarchy.
Amid the club’s worst start to the season in more than three decades, further speculation emerges following a recent interview in which Messi again suggested he might approach the Camp Nou exit door.
Messi’s contract with Barcelona expires at the end of this season, which means he will be able to negotiate freely with clubs outside of Spain from January 1st.
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While more than a few gallons of newspaper ink was spilled to associate Messi with one of Europe’s powerhouse clubs, he told Spanish television broadcaster La Sexta that his next move could be the US, although his focus remains on getting Barcelona off to help out her La Liga Funk.
“Far from that – my plan is to give everything I can for the club for the moment,” Messi said when asked if he had any plans to exercise a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave for free after completing a league campaign.
“I would like to play in the US and experience life and the league there, but in the end I would like to return to Barcelona in a way. I am not thinking too far ahead in the short term and just want to see how the season ends.” “”
The news is unlikely to meet with joy in the boardrooms of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, the two European clubs with the financial clout they are supposed to hold for Messi’s signature.
Messi was believed to be on the verge of moving to Pep Guardiola’s town in August before withdrawing his transfer request. Paris is also reported to have been investigating how to reunite Neymar with the ex-Barca strike partner he has repeatedly searched the media for.
However, City have been looking into the possibility of offering Messi a package deal with City Football Group, which sees Messi transfer to Guardiola for a few seasons before moving to his MLS franchise New York City FC. He will then act as the company’s global ambassador when he finishes his career as a player.
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Despite openly wrestling for a move a few months ago, Messi appears to have softened his stance on severing ties with Barcelona.
“It was far from easy for me to say that I wanted to leave the club and the city, but I really felt it was time to leave,” said Messi.
“I felt like I had completed a cycle and it was time to leave the club that had given me so much.
“I wanted to win titles and fight for the Champions League and I felt it was time for change. The President [Josep Bartomeu] Then I started filtering this and that to paint a negative picture of myself. “
With Bartomeu no longer at the helm of the club, Messi seems content to stay and stabilize the ship – at least for now.
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