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Chelsea FC transfer rumours: Valencia have no option to buy Romeu (but will try to anyway)

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Christopher Lee

Because I'm sure you're all dying for an update on the Oriol Romeu situation, and it's sounding very much like loan-o-clock. Although Valencia are yet to announce that a deal is done, the local media are reporting that Romeu is indeed heading to Spain on loan:

There are also reports that Valencia and Romeu have talked about a permanent deal depending on how well he's recovered from the knee injury that kept him out for most of the past season, but with three years currently left on his contract, Chelsea will have plenty to say about where he ends up. I don't think a sale is completely out of the question, but it's possibly if he plays at an acceptable but not extraordinary level next season. If he plays well enough to make an impact on the Chelsea squad, Los Che aren't keeping him.

The reduced salary part is interesting -- Valencia obviously can't afford to pay Romeu's full wages, but I'm pretty surprised that Chelsea didn't agree to cover the rest. Romeu must be really keen on the switch. With his wages reportedly in the range of £35,000 per week, we'll be getting an FFP saving of about £1.8 million. Significant, but not huge.

The real benefit, then, will be in Romeu's development. There's still some hope that he can build on the potential he demonstrated in the early stages of the 2011/12 season, when he displaced John Obi Mikel from the starting lineup for long stretches, but he'll need to get plenty of playing time to see if those flashes of productivity are within reach. That's where Valencia can help us.

This really is make-or-break time for Romeu's Chelsea career. If he fails to excel, he's very probably gone next summer.