Barcelona release Samper amid reports of Iniesta link-up at Vissel Kobe

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 LaLiga 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.

Reports in Spain claim Samper is expected to join his former Barca team-mate Iniesta at Vissel Kobe.

Samper is expected to confirm his next move at a news conference on Tuesday.

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