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Messi floats future US move, immediate Barça plans unclear

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi, centre, runs past Real Valladolid's Ruben Alcaraz, right during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain,Tuesday Dec. 22, 2020. (Cesar Manso/Pool via AP)

BARCELONA – Lionel Messi won't make a decision on his long-term future at Barcelona until the season is over, with the soccer great also raising the possibility of playing in the United States one day in a TV interview broadcast Sunday.

“I am going to wait until the end of the season (to decide),” the 33-year-old Messi told private Spanish station La Sexta.

About fifth-place Barcelona's future prospects, Messi said “there is no money” and “it is not going to be easy to turn this around.”

As of Jan. 1, Messi could negotiate with other clubs as his contract with Barcelona is set to expire in June.

In August, Messi stunned Barcelona by telling the club he wanted to leave following a season without titles that ended in a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich. The club said no, and Messi backed down saying that he could not take his club to court. He has played as hard as ever since then, but has not said if he has changed his mind over wanting to leave.

“Now I am focused on winning titles instead of other things," Messi said in the rare interview. “I have always had the idea that I would like to have the experience of playing in the United States, but this is not the time for it.”

Messi also said he would not publicly support any of the candidates who plan to run in club elections set for Jan. 24.

Nor was he overly enthusiastic about the immediate prospects of the team.