Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman criticises interim President for Messi comments

Barcelona‘s Dutch manager, Ronald Koeman, has voiced his distraught over comments made by interim President Carlos Tusquets for suggesting that the club should have cashed in on Lionel Messi in the summer.

Tusquets said selling Messi – who has scored 641 goals in 743 appearances for Barcelona – was “desirable” as the Catalan club could have raised a significant amount of money from the deal.

Instead, Messi will now be available to move for free when his contract expires in the summer

“I don’t care what’s said outside the club. However, comments from inside the club don’t help us have the calmness we need to do our job,” said Koeman.

“We can’t control what’s said outside, but from within it’s a different story.”

Messi expressed his desire to quit the club in August, pointing out a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave on a free transfer, but Barcelona said that was not the case and would not let their captain and all-time leading goalscorer leave for less than his £624m release clause.

“If there’s anyone who needs to decide about his future, it’s Leo himself,” added the Barcelona Manager.

“It [selling Messi] might have been his [Tusquets’] personal opinion and I respect that, but Leo’s got a year left on his deal and he is the one who needs to decide.”

Messi, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City and PSG in recent weeks came through the ranks at La Masia, before making his debut for Barcelona as a teenager. He has gone on to become the club’s highest goal scorer with 641 goals in 743 appearances, winning a club-record 34 trophies.

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