Ronald Koeman criticises interim Barcelona president over comments about Messi

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Interim Barcelona president Carlos Tusquets has come under criticism from Ronald Koeman after he said the club should have sold Lionel Messi in the summer.

The 33-year-old who is out of contract in the summer submitted a transfer request however decided to stay at the last minute.

The Argentine, who has been at the Nou Camp for his whole career said a clause in his contract meaning he could do so for free. However, Barcelona hit back by rebuffing this and said their captain would not go for free nor less than his 700m € (£624m) release clause.

Tusquets said selling the forward was “desirable” because of the money the Spanish giants could have made.

“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.”

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

“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.”