Barcelona have confirmed that midfielder Sergi Samper has been allowed to leave the club for J-League side Vissel Kobe.
The 24-year-old has struggled with injuries during his time with the Barcelona first team, spending time out on loan to Granada and Las Palmas in the last couple of years.
Seen as one of La Masia’s hottest talents, Barca had hoped that Samper would be able to gain a regular role in the first team but movements from Vissel Kobe have now seen that partnership come to an end.
Samper made just nine appearances in four years for Barcelona, making just one Copa del Rey appearance this term.
The midfielder will now join up with former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta and former forward David Villa, whom he has both played with before at the Camp Nou.
Barca, who were in action against Real Madrid at the weekend – extended their lead at the top of the La Liga table to 12 points over their arch rivals, whilst they sit seven points ahead of Atletico Madrid, who beat Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.
Ivan Rakitic’s goal was enough to seal the win at the Santiago Bernabeu, meaning they had beaten Los Blancos twice in a week following the 3-0 Copa del Rey win in midweek.