Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has criticized interim president Carlos Tusquets after he said Lionel Messi should be sold last summer.
Tusquets said the 33-year-old was “required” to be sold, because the Spanish club had made a lot of money.
Messi’s contract expires at the end of the current season so he can leave the club on a free transfer without being paid.
“I don’t care what is said outside of the group. But talking like that in the group doesn’t help the stability we need to do our job,” Koeman said.
“We can’t stop what is being said outside the group, but doing it in the group is something different.”
Argentina international Messi, who has spent his entire career at Barca, has told authorities he wants to leave the club in August and says he can leave without paying a fee.
But Barcelona officials insist this is not the case, adding that their captain will have to pay 700 million euros if he wants to move on.
“If there is a person who has to decide his future it is not Messi himself,” Koeman said.
“Maybe selling Messi is a Tusquets idea of his own and I respect him for that, but Messi has one year left on his contract and he will be the one to decide that.”