Southampton is expected to announce the signing of Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu later on Wednesday.
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The 23-year-old Spaniard joined the Blues from Barcelona in 2011 but has made just 33 appearances for the west London club and has been loaned out by Jose Mourinho to Valencia and VFB Stuttgart in the past two seasons.
Sources have confirmed to ProSoccerTalk that the move for Romeu is close to being completed and it will be on a permanent transfer to St Mary’s.
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Romeu has been very unlucky with injuries during his Chelsea career and while he was on loan at Valencia as the defensive midfielder put in plenty of promising displays under Roberto Di Matteo during his time at Stamford Bridge. However, when Mourinho returned Romeu was not in his plans and he will now get the chance to stay in the PL and flourish with Southampton. He cost Chelsea $7.5 million in 2011, and they can expect to recoup most of that fee for the Spanish U-23 international.
Barcelona legend Ronald Koeman is in charge of Saints, and his influence in the imminent signing of the Catalan-born player should not be underestimated. Romeu will arrive to compete with Jordy Clasie and Victor Wanyama for the two holding midfield spots and with a Europa League playoff coming up against Danish side FC Midtjylland next week, he would add plenty of depth to a squad that needs bolstering if Saints are to continue their surge up the PL standings.
Interestingly, Romeu has played as a center back in the past and with Saints seeking reinforcements in that area following a season-ending injury to Florin Gardos and losing out on signing Toby Alderweireld permanently this season, he could slot in there when needed. However, it would be surprising if he lined up at center back for Koeman’s men alongside Jose Fonte as Southampton is still said to be interested in Celtic’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.