Israel international Assulin enjoyed heady comparisons with Lionel Messi but left the Spanish champions when his contract ran out in the summer following injury problems and a lack of first-team opportunities.
Fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara was also out of contract in the summer and was known to be on Chelsea and Bolton's watch list before getting the deal he wanted at Barcelona.
One in, one out? Manchester City's Carlos Tevez (left) who wants to leave, alongside new signing Gai Assulin
Staying with Barcelona: City target Thiago Alcantara
Now his dad Mazinho - the 1994 World Cup-winning Brazil midfielder - has apparently told Spanish reporters that City tried to sign both 19-year-old Thiago and younger brother Rafa, 17.
Thiago has been rewarded by a creeping involvement in Pep Guardiola's first team, making four La Liga appearances from the bench this season.
He also played for a full 90 minutes last week in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Rubin Kazan and is the subject of a battle between Spain and Brazil over his international future.
Rafa is following in his older brother's footsteps and has already been capped by Spain Under-19s despite qualifying for younger age groups.
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