New Atletico Madrid star Luis Suarez has criticised former club Barcelona for not allowing Lionel Messi to leave this summer.
Messi was embroiled in a high profile dispute with the Catalan giants over his exit clause from the Camp Nou.
The Argentina international informed club president Josep Bartomeu of his intention to leave the club as part of a rolling release clause in his contract.
However, Barcelona blocked his departure, citing the clause as having expired due to the extended 2019-20 La Liga season.
Suarez’s own exit was another controversial incident this summer, after Ronald Koeman confirmed the Uruguayan striker would not be part of his plans in 2020-21, and he believes the club let Messi down.
“Messi’s desire to leave the club had nothing to do with me,” he told an interview with ESPN, via Mundo Deportivo.
“They should have respected his decision to leave. Out of respect for Leo, I do not want to discuss too much detail, but he lived through a difficult situation.
“He wanted to leave and the club would not allow it.”
Suarez has enjoyed an excellent start to life under Diego Simeone, with two goals on his debut in the 6-1 La Liga win over Huesca.
Atletico Madrid will play host to Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano on November 22 with the reverse Camp Nou fixture on May 9 2021.