Abidal had accused certain members of the team of lacking effort under former coach Ernesto Valverde - prompting Messi to demand that the Frenchman name names or risk tarnishing the reputation of the entire squad.
Abidal, who has been with the club since 2015, said: "Many players weren't satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem".
"The relationship between the coach and dressing room was always good, but there are things that as an ex-player I can sense. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision".
"We the players in the dressing room are the first to admit it when we haven't played well".
"Those in charge of sporting direction should also face up to their responsibilities and above all take charge of their own decisions".
"You think of Manchester United and there's been talk of that, but I don't see him going there".
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Liverpool made it 24 Premier League victories out of 25 games with an emphatic 4-0 win against Southampton on Saturday. Both United (2000-01) and Man City (2017-18) have won the title with five games to spare.
Speculation that Messi could quit Barcelona this summer was reignited this week after the Argentine icon was involved in a public spat with sporting director Eric Abidal.
As a hard week for the club draws to a close, the situation has calmed down following talks between Messi and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has also spoken separately with Abidal.
"And you suddenly think, well, actually, where would you play him at City?" "One year ago they said we were unstoppable for four or five years", said Guardiola.
"I'm going to talk about what really interests me and the players, football".
"It's not easy to control the game against Athletic, but I don't think [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen had a save to make in the whole game".
"I would have said that the likelihood is that Messi feels like he can catalyse an early election".