Barcelona Sets Sights on Former Chelsea Midfielder As Busquets’ Replacement

Barcelona Sets Sights on Former Chelsea Midfielder As Busquets’ Replacement

Ero Samson
updated at July 1, 2023 at 6:31 PM
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  • Sergio Busquets recently brought to an end his 14 years stint at Barcelona
  • The midfielder has joined Lionel Messi in the MLS
  • Barcelona have identified a former Chelsea midfielder as a replacement for Busquets

Barcelona are in the process of trying to sign a new pivot following the departure of Sergio Busquets, whose contract at the club expired at midnight on Saturday morning.

Several targets had been identified, including Martin Zubimendi, Joshua Kimmich and Marcelo Brozovic. However, all three have been ruled out due to the club’s ailing financial situation, which will not allow them to spend big this summer.

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Oriol Romeu currently plays for Catalan rivals Girona. Image: Octavio Passos.
Source: Getty Images

Their latest top target is Oriol Romeu, who plays for Catalan rivals Girona. Xavi Hernandez is keen to sign the 31-year-old, and they cross paths many years ago when Xavi was still playing and Romeu was at Barcelona.

Romeu considered by Barcelona

The midfielder is reportedly being considered as an option by the Catalan giants this summer.

Spanish journalist Juanmarti reports that the defensive midfielder would add a lot to the current squad along with immediate performance.

The 31-year-old has an abundance of experience behind him, having previously played in the Premier League with Chelsea and Southampton. Romeu made 256 appearances for the Saints, scoring eight goals and providing six assists across all competitions.

The Catalan club are eager to find the right replacement for Sergio Busquets who has joined MLS side Inter Miami.

The Spain international joined the Barcelona B team in 2005 before graduating to the first team in 2007. He has made 722 appearances for the club, helping them win 32 trophies including three UEFA Champions League triumphs and nine La Liga titles, among others.

Romeu seeks Xavi’s advice

Reports from Relevo have stated Romeu while at Southampton reached out to Xavi for advice.

Romeu started his message by saying:

“I was watching my games and I have a question that I would like to ask you.
Overall, I’m feeling great, but there are certain phases of the game where I relax and make avoidable mistakes.
I looked for a reference player who was almost perfect in activation and concentration during the match and you came to mind.
I never saw you giving passes for giving them or with an excess of relaxation. How did you do it? Did you have any kind of message or ritual to play at such a high level for so long?”

Xavi responded a few hours later, saying:

"I’ve always been a very responsible guy. I hate to fail. I can’t. If I fail, I lash out. I’m like that, that’s how I’ve been made at home.
It’s a sense of responsibility, even winning 2-0 or 3-0. I’m a perfectionist.
Every ball I received with Barca or with Spain was as if it were the last and it depended on me, as if all the responsibility was mine.
“In the end it is normal for the body to relax, and more with a favourable marker. I was losing balls too. It is clear, and no matter how focused you are, you end up losing balls because you do not have the necessary information.
Either to look before receiving or to look to the sides, or because you’ve been pressured well. It’s normal.”

The conversation is said to have changed the course of Romeu’s career, which could culminate in him joining Xavi’s Barcelona this summer.

Barcelona battle Madrid for Guler

Sports Brief earlier reported Both Barcelona and Madrid are pushing hard to sign the 18-year-old attacker Arda Guler and the next few hours could be decisive in the future of the player.

Guler is one of football's hottest properties following a breakout season at Fenerbahce. While under contract until 2025, a reported release clause of €18 million has seen a host of Europe's top clubs vying for his signature.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).