Lionel Messi has admitted that he wants to play in the MLS before he hangs up his boots in the coming years.
Messi, 33, is poised to leave Barcelona in the summer after a public fallout with the Nou Camp board following an underwhelming campaign.
The Argentinian has been linked with a move to moneybags Manchester City in the coming months due to his relationship with boss Pep Guardiola.
But in an unexpected twist, Messi now admits he wants to have a crack at football in America, following in the footsteps of David Beckham, David Villa and Frank Lampard.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” Messi told Spanish television channel La Sexta.
“I’m going to wait until the season ends. I would like to play in the United States and experience life and the league there, but ultimately come back to Barcelona in some capacity.
“Right now the most important thing is to focus on the team and finish the season well, to focus on trying to win trophies and not get distracted by other things.”
Messi’s transfer saga played out in public over the summer after a spat with former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
However, the departure of Bartomeu in October has eased tensions between the player and club.
“It was far from easy for me to say I wanted to leave the club and the city … but I genuinely felt it was time to go,” Messi added.
“I felt I’d completed a cycle and it was time to leave the club that had given me so much.
“I wanted to win titles and battle for the Champions League and felt it was time for change.
“The president then started to filter this and that to paint a negative picture of me.”
Any US club willing to sign Messi with have to fend off competition from the likes of Man City, PSG and Inter Milan in the coming months.