Oriol Romeu is seemingly the most feasible signing to strengthen the Barcelona midfield this transfer window, with the Catalan club set to open negotiations with Girona over the transfer.
With the departure of Sergio Busquets to Inter Miami, Xavi has been looking at adding a holding midfielder to play in front of the back four. While there are plenty of options in the youth ranks, most are largely unproven at the top level. Adding experience in the 31-year-old makes a lot of sense.
SPORT is now reporting that Oriol Romeu would be open to the move, but negotiations may not be easy with his Spanish employer.
Girona released a statement last week indicating they were unhappy with Xavi making a direct approach to their players:
"“We know that Xavi has called our player and Oriol Romeu is not free, he has a contract with Girona until 2025, so we say that this cannot be done,”"
The Blaugrana are planning to offer a youth player as part of the deal, in the hope of reducing the transfer figure, with the Catalan club facing certain financial restrictions.
It’s thought that the contract offered to Romeu will look a lot like the one handed to İlkay Gündoğan, who signed a two-year deal with an option for a third year.
Romeu was part of the youth set-up at Barcelona and made his professional debut for the senior side back in 2010. He left to Join Chelsea a year later but failed to breakthrough, going out on loan to Valencia in Spain and Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Eventually, he found a home on the south-coast of England with Southampton where he made over 200 appearances.
Romeu would need to fight for his place in the side, but he would be the experienced pivot player that Xavi is looking for.