Barcelona interim president Carles Tusquets has moved to defend his recent comments regarding the future of Lionel Messi, though he stands by the fact the club would be 'better off' financially were the Argentinian superstar to leave.
The future of Barça's talisman was the source of constant speculation over the summer, with Messi openly admitting his desire to leave Camp Nou, only for him to then remain at the club so to avoid legal implications regarding a breach of contract.
Tusquets - who is currently acting as interim president until the club's presidential elections on 24 January following the departure of Josep Maria Bartomeu - recently suggested he would have sold Messi in the summer.
However, he has now moved to clarify his comments, claiming he meant the club would have been in a better position financially had they sold the Argentina international; remarks he vehemently stands by.
"I didn't say that I would've sold Messi; I said that, financially, him leaving would been good for the club," Tusquets told Catalunya Radio, as reported by Marca. "We'd be better off because we said that his salary is the highest in the world. Nothing could be truer. But I'm nobody, the decision is his and the managing board cannot take these decisions.
The comments made by Tusquets were evidently not well received in the Barcelona camp, with manager Ronald Koeman claiming such remarks "don't help us [Barcelona] to have peace of mind".
However, Tusquets believes his comments have been misinterpreted by the Barça boss, and that he will look to clear up any confusion if it is required.
"If it's necessary, I'll tell Koeman that he has misunderstood what I said," he added. "I was just doing the maths. What Messi generates for the club makes up for the cost [of his contract], but Barcelona aren't dependant on just one person."
The future of Messi remains unclear, with reports suggesting he could be set to linkup with former teammate Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain when his current deal expires in the summer.