Barcelona have officially announced the signing of former player and Girona midfielder Oriol Romeu.
The 31-year-old emerged as the top replacement for Sergio Busquets – who has joined Inter Miami – after the Catalan giants failed to sign other targets due to their financial woes.
Romeu returns to Camp Nou after 12 years, having spent his formative years at Barca.
The Spaniard will pen a three-year deal with the Catalan giants until 2026.
The transfer will cost the Blaugrana around €5 million, with Pablo Torre heading to Girona on loan as part of the operation.
Romeu joined Girona last summer following their promotion from the Segunda Division to La Liga.
The former Chelsea and Southampton star was at the heart of the Catalan club’s excellent 2022/23 campaign, helping them secure a tenth-place finish in La Liga.
Romeu’s performances didn’t go unnoticed, with Barcelona manager Xavi singling out his compatriot as the ideal player for his project next season.
Albeit a low-profile signing and not at the level of Busquets, Romeu is a bargain transfer for the Catalan giants and is tailor-made for the club.
A brilliant tempo-setter and defensively sound player, Romeu will allow Ilkay Gundogan, Frenkie de Jong Pedri and Gavi to thrive.
Barca have completed three signings this summer – Gundogan, Inigo Martinez and Romeu.
The Catalan giants have also announced a deal for Brazilian prodigy Vitor Roque, who will move to Camp Nou in 2024.
Romeu’s arrival raises questions over Frank Kessie’s future at Barca, with the Ivory Coast international linked with a move to Juventus.