Former Premier League wonderkid who snubbed 10-year Barcelona contract is now without a club

A former Premier League wonderkid who once turned down the offer of a 10-year contract at Barcelona is now without a club after being released.

Former England youth star John Bostock, 32, is now looking for the 16th club of his career after being let go by League Two side Notts County.

On Monday, County released a full list of players being let go by the club this summer, which included Bostock.

“Jim O’Brien, Richard Brindley, John Bostock, Aden Baldwin and Tobi Adebayo will all depart Meadow Lane upon the expiration of their contracts, while Connell Rawlinson has been made available for transfer,” read a club statement.

“Youngster Luther Munakandafa will also be moving on, while goalkeeper Aidan Stone and winger Will Randall will be given the opportunity to pursue opportunities elsewhere.”

Bostock first caught the eye as a youngster at boyhood club Crystal Palace, playing above his age group in youth teams for the Eagles.

It was during this time he attracted the attention of La Liga giants Barcelona, who offered him an incredible decade-long deal to move to Spain.

“When I was 14, Barcelona offered me a 10-year contract,” Bostock previously told the BBC.

“Ronaldinho was my favourite player at the time so they sent me a signed poster from him. I’ve still got it at my house in London. It said: ‘To John from Ronaldinho’.

“You name the club, I had interest from them. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter [Milan], Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool – the who’s who of European football.”

He eventually left Palace for Tottenham in a move that saw the two clubs going to a tribunal in 2008.

However, he never managed to play in the Premier League and ended up being sent out on loan to Brentford, Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Swindon and Toronto before leaving the club on a permanent deal in 2013.

Spells at Royal Antwerp, Leuven, Lens and Bursaspor followed before he joined Toulouse, who then loaned him to Nottingham Forest in the 2019/20 campaign.

He returned England to sign for Doncaster Rovers in 2021 but left after just one season following the club’s relegation from League One that summer.

Bostock later joined Notts County in 2022 and went on to help them secure promotion to League Two last season.

But the midfielder has managed just four goals in 66 appearances for the club, who have now decided to cut ties with him after a 14th-place finish.

County thanked him for his time at the club in a statement which read: “As well as being a thoroughly professional and calming presence away from the field, John made many excellent performances for us – not least at Wembley, where his incredibly composed display and all-important equaliser were crucial to us winning the promotion he and his team-mates so richly deserved.”

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