Barcelona release Gai Assulin

By Simon Griver, July 6, 2010
Guy Assulin

Guy Assulin

Barcelona have released Israeli starlet Gai Assulin.

Assulin, 19, saw his contract expire on July 1 and leaves Camp Nou after seven years rising through the ranks of the Catalan club.

The player's agent Pini Zahavi said: “The decision not to renew Gai’s contract was mutually taken by us and the club. At the moment we are considering his professional options.”

Assulin said: “I believe in myself and I’m confident I'll find a good club.”

Assulin has Spanish citizenship and has in the past been linked with all the top Premier League clubs. But he has failed to recapture the sparkle shown several years ago when he was a star in then Barcelona B manager Pep Guardiola’s team, and which saw him become the youngest ever player to represent Israel at 16.

He did not play for Barcelona in La Liga or the Champions League match. He has struggled with injury and poor form over the past two seasons and last month he started on the bench in Israel's 1-0 defeat against Sweden in a vital European Under 21 qualifier and looked ineffectual when he came on in the second half.

There was also disappointment for 19 year-old Israeli defender Nir Mantzur who did not have his contract with Real Madrid extended. Zahavi is also seeking a new club for the teenager.

But another Israeli, Nes Zamir, 19, has been given a two year contract by Atletico Madrid after impressing with Spanish third division side Albacete last season.

Last updated: 2:00pm, July 6 2010