Barcelona Release Sergi Samper

Barcelona have cancelled the contract of midfielder Sergi Samper amid reports of an impending link-up with Andres Iniesta at Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

Samper, 24, leaves Barca after never really living up to his early promise, having been highly rated when coming through their La Masia academy.

A technically gifted midfielder, Samper was initially seen as the long-term successor to Sergio Busquets and was handed his senior debut in September 2014, appearing against APOEL in the Champions League.

He had to wait until March 2016 for his La Liga debut, and loan spells with Granada and Las Palmas followed.

But neither move went to plan, with both clubs suffering relegation from the top flight, and his development was hampered by injuries , particularly at Las Palmas.

Samper ends his Camp Nou career with a record of just 14 first team appearances in total, during an era which Barca were gifted with a plethora of world-class midfield talent.

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