Assulin move to Man City in doubt

By Danny Caro and Simon Griver, November 19, 2010
Gai Assulin

Gai Assulin

Gai Assulin's hopes of reviving his top-flight career with Manchester City suffered a major setback on Wednesday evening when he was injured in the warm-up ahead of Israel's Under 21 friendly against Belarus in Rishon Lezion.

Assulin, 19, an attacking midfielder, was withdrawn from the starting line-up after twisting the knee on which he had surgery in September. However, he came on as a late substitute and showed a few flashes of brilliance as Israel ran out 2-1 winners.

Prior to the incident, we understand that City were going to make a decision on the Israel wonder kid by Sunday.

The JC can confirm reports that Assulin has already signed a four-year contract at Eastlands are unsubstantiated. Since being released by Barcelona last summer, Assulin, 19, has been strongly linked with City, and has been under their care in an attempt to recover from a knee injury.

Assulin played in an academy match for City against Young Ajax in Holland and has been back in full training for the last two weeks.

Speaking earlier this week, Assulin said: "I hope everything will be fine. I'm getting used to the club and the atmosphere, and at the moment I'm really enjoying it. I missed the big Manchester derby last week because I was in Holland at a friendly reserves game against Ajax.

"My hope is to play for City in the Premier League. It depends if I can prove myself in the games and the opportunities that they give me. I'll give it my all. I'm training with all the big stars and it's a really great experience for me."

Blackburn Rovers striker Nick Blackman is keen to extend his loan deal at Motherwell.

Blackman, 21, has scored nine goals in 13 appearances including a league hat-trick against St. Johnstone. He lies second in the SPL scoring charts, behind Rangers and Scotland striker Kenny Miller.

"Coming to Motherwell has been a brilliant move because, at my age, I need first-team football. "I'm keen to extend things although that's a matter for the two clubs. I'm in the last year of my Blackburn contract but I've not spoken to Sam Allardyce or heard anything."

Meanwhile, Israel is one of five countries shortlisted to host the Euro 2013 Under 21 finals along with England, Wales, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Last updated: 1:07pm, November 19 2010