Hey, remember Oriol Romeu? You know, the kid whom AVB liked and randomly signed from Barcelona in 2011.
I feel like I've started more than my fair share of posts with that question. I suppose that's what happens when the player spends half his Chelsea career out on long-term loans in far off lands, after spending most of the other half injured, unproven, or out of favor. Plus, he's got hair now, which is weird.
After spending so much time on loan, another thing that tends to happen is that players start looking for "stability." Some earlier (right, Thorgan?). Some later (what up, Bertrand?). For a few, that stability comes at Chelsea (watch your line Thibaut!). For most, it comes somewhere else, if it comes at all. It's the nature of the beast that it our loan policy and player development in general.
The 24-year-old Oriol Romeu is next up in that conga line.
"I started the season with Chelsea because the coaching staff wanted me to renew my contract until 2017. Mourinho treated me very well and received several offers from Germany, one from Celta, and finally I opted for the Stuttgart. Both the coach and the Chelsea sporting director recommended that I come here because it was a long term project with a good manager. In close to 30 games for Stuttgart have found continuity and rhythm that every player needs."
"I saw what the president said. In June I'll speak with Chelsea to know their intentions. After two seasons on loan, I think the ideal would be settling into a club to get some stability."
Now it should be noted that the last bit, about speaking with Chelsea in June, is not something I can find in Marca. I've seen it attributed to the Spanish newspaper in a couple secondary sources, but as far as I can tell, Marca's article from which the rest of the quotes come from does not have anything about any showdown talks. Maybe the primary source was changed. Maybe it comes from a non-digital edition. Maybe it's made up.
That being said, it's a reasonable expectation for such talks to occur. Stuttgart may be struggling at the bottom of the Bundesliga, but they would no doubt love to keep the young defensive midfielder who's started a majority of their games. Meanwhile, one of the biggest reasons Romeu was loaned out in the first place was that we were over our home-grown player limit (see also: Van Ginkel, Marco), and while that situation hasn't improved too much, perhaps Mourinho has bigger plans for the ex-Barcelona prospect than just converting him into a small windfall of cash. I guess we'll see in the summer.