Let the poopstorm commence! It looked as though the Oriol Romeu buyback question had been resolved once and for all when Andre Villas-Boas claimed - on Chelsea's official site - that there was no buyback after all, and that Barcelona merely possess a right of first refusal should Romeu be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. Based on his recent performances for the first team, that seemed in no danger whatsoever of happening, and thus Blues fans could breathe sighs of relief and simply enjoy their new midfield acquisition.
And then Pep Guardiola stepped in and said that Villas-Boas was misinformed and that the buyouts reported over the summer exist after all, and suddenly we're plunged back into a horrible confusing mess. Right now, it appears to be Barcelona's word against Chelsea's, and so the situation is difficult to untangle. Nevertheless, I'm a writer (in some circles, a journalist, even!) and it is therefore my role to make silly wild speculations about what's going on here.
A Possible Scenario Where Nobody Is Lying
Barcelona B defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu joins Chelsea over the summer for the low fee of €5M. In exchange for setting his price so low, the Catalans demand two buyback windows - summer 2012 and summer 2013 - as well as a right of first refusal should Chelsea choose to sell Romeu at any later date.
Fast forward a few months and Romeu has earned a place in the Blues' starting eleven, displacing the completely useless/ horribly underrated [delete according to taste] John Obi Mikel in a move that coincides with a series of much improved performances.
After being stuck in the reserves at Barcelona, young Romeu, still just 20, is blown away by the opportunity to get regular first-team football with a major European power. He knows that it's unlikely that he'll be displacing Sergio Busquets, who despite his many personal failings is one of the better defensive midfielders ever to play ever to take the field, and, at 23, is unlikely to be going away anytime soon. In a conversation with Villas-Boas, Romeu tells his manager that even should Barcelona buy him out of his current deal, he would refuse to go unless told that Chelsea would be willing to sell
Villas-Boas, keen on giving the fans some good news, relays this in an odd way, saying that Barcelona can only take Romeu back if Chelsea were looking to sell. Barcelona react badly, of course, and then lo and behold we have the past few days worth of Romeu news.
Hooray complete speculation!