Word is that the club may be on the cusp of securing the services of Oriol Romeu. Wait, who?
Poor Barcelona. They really do seem to be scraping by at the moment, what with the signing of Alexis Sanchez finalized Wednesday and the inevitable transfer of Cesc Fabregas to come. Sad. To fund the later, it would seem the cash-strapped almighty is open to moving some of their more fancied academy prospects.
Romeu appears to be amongst those on the market, and we're interested. Cool. Only thing is, I'm not actually privy to his skill set.
Fortunately, I know some experts that are. Our brothers in arms, We Ain't Got Not History, have a fairly thorough profile of the 19-year-old. This thing is legit. Check it out here.
What did we learn from checking their article out? Well:
- Romeu is a highly versatile midfielder, who, at least recently, has been deployed in a holding role.
- He's very much in the mold of a Michael Essien. Good pace, great strength, highly dynamic. Throw some Spanish technique in the mix for good measure. Sounds superb.
- Like Gael Etock - who we have apparently also signed from Barcelona though I have yet to see any conformation - Romeu has refused a new contract at the Catalan club, and is entering to the final year on his current deal.
- AVB apparently tracked Romeu last season while at Porto.
At the number being quoted (£4.4 million), this appears on the surface to be an excellent deal. Low risk, high reward. There are rumors that Barcelona are interested in having a buy-back clause after two years; that would, however, be absolutely ludicrous. We're not a fucking feeder club. The Mirror mentions the potential for Barcelona to have first refusal if we were to sell, which seems far more plausible.
I was of the opinion that we needed to strengthen in midfield even before the loss of Essien. Now it's a must. And, you know, with Arturo Vidal out of the picture, and after reading WAGNH, Romeu looks a solid bet. He may not represent an elite level option - not yet anyway - but I reckon he can do a job in stead of Ramires and Mikel.
We'll keep you posted as this one develops. For now, peep the video below of Romeu in the UEFA U19s last summer.