FC Barcelona and midfielder Sergi Samper on Monday announced they had reached an agreement to rescind the 24-year-old's contract with the club, four months before it was due to expire at the end of June.

The decision ends Samper's 18-year association with the club he joined as a six-year-old, but where because of a combination of competition for places and bad luck with injuries, he was never able to earn a regular first-team slot.

The past two seasons saw Samper have two loan spells with Granada and Las Palmas, but his loan at Las Palmas ended after just two appearances as he damaged ankle ligaments, while the presence of Sergio Busquets in the Barca first team always meant it would be difficult for him to triumph at his home town club.

His sole appearance for Barca this season was in a 1-0 Copa del Rey appearance against Cultural Leonesa at the end of October, but he was forced out of the match in the 33rd minute after suffering a calf strain which sidelined him for two months.

The midfielder will now try his luck with Japanese club Vissel Kobe, where he will share a dressing room with former Spain internationals and Barca heroes, Andres Iniesta and David Villa. Enditem