Hugo Sanchez, former Mexico international, has blamed Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, for the player’s decision to stay at Barcelona.
Sanchez said Jorge gave the 33-year-old “bad advice”.
Messi’s future has dominated the headlines since last week, when he informed Barcelona of his desire to leave the club and attempting to trigger a clause in his contract.
Manchester City emerged as favourites to sign the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, only for him to reverse his decision on Friday, after LaLiga insisted on his €700million release clause.
“That untimely burofax only strengthened the image of Barcelona’s president and gave him time to weaken Messi’s decision,” Sanchez told ESPN.
“Messi has had no choice but to stay at Barcelona due to bad advice from his father and the law firm. That has caused weakness to his image within the team.
“Before the end of the term agreed in the contract, they had to tell the club that they wanted to leave at the end of the season and on a free, without paying any compensation. If they had it planned, it should have been done that way.”