Carles Tusquets, president of the Barcelona management committee, thinks that the club might have been better off by selling Lionel Messi last summer.

The Argentine tried to force his way out of the Camp Nou on a free transfer, but the Catalans dug in and held onto their captain, despite their dire financial situation.

“Financially speaking, I would have sold Messi last summer,” Tusquets said to RAC 1.

“It would have been desirable, for what they’d have taken in and what they’d have saved.”

Those same financial troubles present problems in signing players, despite the continuous links with Neymar.

But the current Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman responded to Tusquets stating that that the talk around Lionel Messi’s future would die down.

While talking to the press, published in Marca, Koeman expressed that the current speculations surrounding Messi would not help Barca flourish.

He said, “We know Leo’s situation. If there’s one person who has to decide on his future, it’s Leo himself. Comments from outside the club don’t interest me. But comments from within the club don’t help us to have the peace of mind we need.”

“We cannot control what happens outside the club, but from the inside it’s different.”

In the Champions League Barcelona have been on fire but in the La Liga they are experiencing a lean-patch and before the clash against the newly promoted Cadiz, Koeman is well aware of the fact how they stunned the current La Liga holders – Real Madrid.

“We’ll have a lot of the ball,” Koeman said.

“It seems that it’s hard for them to win at home, but they take a lot of points away. It’s a tough place to go. We’ll have to be very focused and play at our best level to create chances to score from.”

The Catalans appear to have found form recently, but Koeman is reluctant to talk about a title challenge just yet.

“I think Atletico Madrid are above everyone at the moment,” the coach said when asked about his side’s chances. They concede very few goals and they get ahead when they play.”

“But it’s a long season and a lot can happen. We can’t afford to drop more points.”

“We have to win every game until the end of the year.”

Samuel Umtiti’s situation has been the source of some confusion this term, with the Frenchman not involved in matchday squads.

“He’s quite close to returning,” Koeman assured. “He played 60 minutes with Barcelona B.”

“He felt good and had no discomfort, which means that he’s ready. I’ve got to look around and make decisions.”

“I won’t always call on two center-backs for matches, we have to look at other positions to have enough people on the bench, but he’ll be in a squad soon.”

Martin Braithwaite has taken advantage of recent minutes and has been a good addition to the side when he has played.

“He suits us very well,” Koeman commented.

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“Thanks to his work, players coming in from the wings can take advantage of the space he creates.”

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