Manchester City release former England international Owen Hargreaves

 

Midfielder Owen Hargreaves has been released by Manchester City after his short-term deal expired.

The former England international, who has been plagued by injuries in recent years, joined Roberto Mancini's side last August after leaving city rivals United.

However, he played just four times - but only once in the Barclays Premier League with a 13-minute appearance in October - and scored a solitary goal in a Carling Cup victory over Birmingham.

The 31-year-old's last outing came in the 3-2 FA Cup third-round defeat to United on January 8 when he played the final eight minutes.

Hargreaves spent most of last summer trying to convince prospective clubs he was fully fit after having operations on both knees in 2008 and 2009 during his injury-hit spell at Manchester United, and he even resorted to posting videos on YouTube showing him training.

Mancini offered the former Bayern Munich star a chance after the player resisted interest from West Brom, but he was not included in the club's Champions League squad and started only two games, both in the Carling Cup, in his four appearances.

That quartet of games was as many as he had managed in the previous three seasons, however.

City have also released Israeli midfielder Gai Assulin, Ahmed Benali and fellow academy graduate Sean Tse while a number of scholars have also been let go.

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