Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman, has said it was the club’s decision to get rid of Luis Suarez.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s LaLiga game against Villarreal, Koeman said he was only made to relay the message and insisted he showed the striker respect during their brief time working together.
Suarez has joined rivals Atletico Madrid after six seasons at Camp Nou, in a deal which could eventually be worth €6million to Barca.
The decision to get rid of the 33-year-old, who had one year left to run on his contract, was criticised by Lionel Messi on Friday.
Messi accused the club of being disrespectful with the way they forced him out.
“It seems I’m the bad guy in this movie. But that’s not the case.
“I have shown respect to Luis – the player and the person – from day one. I always said it would be tough to give him minutes but that if he stayed he would be part of the squad. I told the club that as well.
“But it was a decision made by the club. Before I came in as the coach, the club had already made decisions to change things. There are young players here. It wasn’t a decision made by me alone, but also by the club,” Koeman said.