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Spurs and Manchester City In Battle For Next Lionel Messi

Is former Barcelona starlet Gai Assulin on his way to White Hart Lane or Eastlands?

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Gaiyigaal Assulin Barcelona 2009/10 Tottenham Hotspur V FC Barcelona 24/07/09 The Wembley Cup at Wembley Stadium Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International

Tottenham and Manchester City are leading the race to sign former Barcelona starlet Gai Assulin, after the Israeli international was released by the club last week. The attacking midfielder has drawn obvious comparisons with Lionel Messi, but after failing to break into the Barcelona first-team, he has opted not to renew his contract, alerting some of the top clubs in Europe.

Despite worries of a knee injury, Manchester City have invited the 19-year-old to Eastlands for a week’s trial and for talks, with Tottenham thought to be next in line. The player reportedly failed to attend a recent trial at Blackburn Rovers, stating that he wanted to play for a bigger club. Clearly an ambitious character, Gai Assulin is still only 19 years of age, and surely a very attractive proposition for any club.

The player is managed by infamous super-agent Pini Zahavi, who has many links to the Premier League and despite registered interest from many top teams around Europe, it is thought that the player will end up in England’s top flight.

Assulin made his Barcelona debut at the age of sixteen against Girona FC in the semi-final of the Copa Catalunya in 2007, and gained his first Israel cap against Chile in 2008. He then suffered a knee ligament injury which forced him to miss almost the entire 2008/2009 season. However, despite returning to full fitness last term, he was left frustrated by coach Pep Guardiola, spending the majority of the season in the reserves.

The wonder-kid can operate on either wing or as an attacking midfielder. He is noticeably small and slight but has great skill on the ball and is extremely quick. Although sometimes thought of as a selfish player, under the right guidance he has the potential to develop into a great attacking player, and could be a fantastic asset to any potential suitors.

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