LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said he would love to see Lionel Messi play in MLS as the Barcelona superstar reportedly eyes a move to Manchester City.
Messi did not feature in Barca's first day of pre-season training under new boss Ronald Koeman on Monday after the six-time Ballon d'Or winner handed in a transfer request.
As with Sunday's coronavirus testing for members of Koeman's first-team squad, Messi did not attend because he believes a clause in his contract allowing him to leave on a free transfer is now active, meaning he is no longer a Barcelona player.
Pep Guardiola's City are believed to be the frontrunners to sign Messi and the Premier League giants have reportedly offered a long-term contract that would end with the 33-year-old playing for sister club New York City in MLS.
Schelotto, whose Galaxy were previously linked with a move for Messi, was asked about the Argentina skipper possibly moving to the United States.
"I was shocked when I heard about Messi's decision about abandoning FC Barcelona because we all thought he was going to retire there," fellow Argentinian Schelotto told reporters.
"But he must have his reasons and as a fellow Argentine I wish him the best always and I hope he comes to the MLS, it would be great."
According to La Liga, Messi can only leave the Catalans if his €700 million (£624m/$823m) release clause is met or if another club negotiates a lower transfer fee with the Camp Nou club.
Messi handed in a transfer request to the Barca board last week, with a view to triggering the clause in his contract which allows him to leave the club at the end of each season.
The clause in question expired in June, but the Argentine's legal team are ready to argue that he should be allowed to terminate his deal unilaterally due to the 2019-20 season being extended into August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Messi has called Barca home since 2001, emerging from the club's famed youth system in 2004.
Since making his debut 16 years ago, Messi has won a club-record 33 trophies – including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.
Messi – linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter – also holds the records for most goals scored for La Liga giants Barca.