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Ramon Morales might be headed to Chivas USA if Chivas Guadalajara executives have their way, club president Rafael Lebrija said.

Ramon Morales has been on the outs with Chivas Guadalajara publicly for several months, but club officials insist they are looking out for the veteran's best interests.

In fact, team executive Rafael Lebrija would be willing for Morales to play an integral role for a red-and-white striped team.

Just not one based in la Perla Tapatia.

Lebrija said the club would like Morales to spend time with Chivas USA to allow the veteran to lengthen his career and continue playing instead of sitting on the bench as would be the case if he stayed with Guadalajara.

"If we can come to an agreement with him so he could go to Chivas USA, we'd all be happy," Chivas President Lebrija told Guadalajara daily Mural. "That's what we're trying to do so he can continue playing."

Morales gave up his captaincy last season to Omar Bravo as he announced he was voluntarily relinquishing his captain duties. Whether or not it was his decision or if he was forced to surrender the armband is unknown, but the club has made it clear that Morales will play little to no role if he stays with Chivas.

Not only would officials rather have Morales elsewhere but they apparently don't feel he can play 90 minutes any more.

"Let's assume he plays with us," Lebrija said. "If he plays with is, and this is just a hypothetical situation, he won't be able to play an entire game. It will be difficult, given that we've seen him in games in which he was removed. I'm not going to judge right now but I'm going to talk to (manager Jose Luis) el Guero Real to see if we can come to a decision."

Morales, a two-time World Cup veteran, started 10 of the 14 games he played in last season, going the distance on two occasions. He logged 817 minutes, his lowest total since the Invierno '98 season, which was the last he spent with Monterrey. Morales joined Chivas for the Verano '99 campaign.

Such a standout career deserves a more gracious end, Lebrija said.

"We don't want to cut short a career as brilliant as the one Ramoncito has had," he said. "Instead we're going to give him every opportunity we can; let that be very clear."

Lebrija said the club has tried to re-work Morales' contract, which Lebrija called a "substantial contract," to no avail.

"He hasn't wanted to do that," Lebrija said. "I'm not sure what's going to happen."

Goal.com

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