Man City interest in Barca's Assulin

August 5, 2010

Gai Assulin is reportedly having trials at Manchester City this week.

The 19-year-old Israeli was released by Barcelona last month after several years of poor form and injuries saw him fall out of favour at Camp Nou, where he failed to make the first team after becoming the youngest ever player to represent Israel at 16.

Assulin will have his work cut out to convince City boss Roberto Mancini to bring him to Eastlands. He recently failed to show up for a trial offered to him by Blackburn Rovers.

He has attracted interest from Arsenal and Spurs in recent months but it seems more likely that he may be heading north. Negotiations on the transfer of the youngster from Spain to Britain will take place this week at Eastlands where Assulin and his French agent Pinhi Zahavi, have been invited.

If successful, the player who has been described as the next Lionel Messi, will be the third Israeli addition to British football this coming season along with Biram Kayal's transfer to Celtic and Dekel Keinen's move to Blackpool.

Tal Ben Haim has finally joined West Ham on loan from Portsmouth until January. The Israeli defender had hoped to sign a three-year deal at Upton Park last month but the move was scuppered due to concerns about a groin injury. He has since received a clean bill of health from a specialist and he will now have the first half of the season to prove his fitness.

Ben Haim, 28, will be reunited with new boss Avram Grant who was his manager at Portsmouth and Chelsea, making him the fourth new international signing for the club and unlikely to be the last as the Hammers continue their search for another young, international face.

West Ham will be Ben Haim's sixth Premier League club since joining Bolton from Maccabi Haifa in 2003. He has also had spells at Manchester City and Sunderland.

Last updated: 3:42pm, August 10 2010