GARY LINEKER has branded the Lionel Messi transfer saga a "shame" after accusing his old club Barcelona of wriggling out by not allowing the Argentine to leave.
The 33-year-old Nou Camp legend stunned Barca bosses at the end of last month after telling them he wanted to leave following 16 seasons.
But the summer saga ended when Messi confirmed he will stay at the club in order to avoid a dragged out court battle.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner opened up about about the saga which sparked a "brutal drama" in his household that left his family in tears.
Reacting to the forward's public address, Lineker tweeted: "Just caught up with the extraordinary Messi interview.
"After all he’s done for the club, over almost 2 decades, it’s such a shame that Barcelona wriggled out and didn’t grant him his wishes.
After all he’s done for the club, over almost 2 decades, it’s such a shame that Barcelona wriggled out and didn’t grant him his wishes
"An amicable and satisfying finale of the Messi/Barca era is now difficult to envisage."
Messi's contract runs out next summer when he will be available on a free transfer, with Manchester City waiting in the wings.
It became clear that this summer, Barca would insist their captain left for nothing less than his £623million release clause.
And one fan replied to Lineker by saying: "Barcelona have done plenty for Messi too. Surely they can’t be expected to write off over £600m as a gesture of goodwill?"
Yet Match of the Day host Lineker hit back to tweet: "You or I have no idea as to the conversations between Messi and the president about his free release clause.
"We’ve now heard Messi’s side. Be interesting to see if the president gives his. It’s just a shame it’s come to this."
Messi is expected to return to Barcelona training on Monday – which will be the first time he links up with the squad since it was revealed he wanted to force a transfer away.
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