Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has denied suggestions he could have returned to Barcelona last summer – and has indicated he would reject them if they came calling.
The midfielder, 26, came through the youth ranks at Barcelona and made one appearance for their senior side before being sold to Chelsea in July 2011 for €5million.
The player moved on to Southampton in the summer of 2015 and he has since established himself as one of the Premier League’s more dependable defensive midfielders – so much so that his former club Barcelona were linked with a shock approach to re-sign him last summer.
However, Romeu has played down claims that Barcelona were in for him and has suggested he would turn down a future return to the Catalan giants.
“Nothing reached me,” he told Marca. “Yes, I heard some comment that they needed players there and various names were considered, but they never contacted me or my agent. They probably didn’t see me as an option.
“As I have said before, to go to a big club to be in the second tier [of players], I don’t know if I would accept it. I don’t enjoy [it], what I want is to play. I don’t think that at Barca I could have been a starting player, it’s like that and you have to be aware of the options that one has.”
The Spain U23 star has featured over 100 times for Saints, scoring four times during his time at St Mary’s.