Romeu rules out Barcelona return in favour of regular game time at Southampton

Oriol Romeu, Southampton
The tough-tackling midfielder is a product of the famed La Masia academy system at Camp Nou, but he has no plans to head back to his roots

Oriol Romeu is prepared to shrug off reported interest from Barcelona and commit to regular game time at Southampton.

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The 25-year-old midfielder is a Catalan native and a man who spent time on the books at Espanyol and Barca in his younger years.

Having graduated through the famed La Masia academy system, Romeu forced his way into the senior fold at Camp Nou to make two appearances.

He left for Chelsea in 2011, where once again he had to look elsewhere for competitive minutes, with loan spells at Valencia and Stuttgart allowing him to prove his worth, before returning to the Premier League with Southampton.

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Having finally been freed to show his true colours, Romeu’s form has sparked talk of a possible return to his roots, although he has been quick to play down the rumours.

He told the Daily Echo: "I've been at Chelsea and Barcelona and haven't played, and I don't want to have this feeling.

Cesc Fabregas Oriol Romeu Chelsea Southampton

"I'm feeling very happy here, and I won't give this away.

"The club has given me a massive welcome since the beginning, signing a new contract in January, and this support and confidence they have given me is something that no one has done before.

"I'm very pleased with what they've done for me and I just want to give this love back - I feel respected. If team-mates have problems, sometimes they come and ask me.

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"I'm an important part of the dressing room, which in the way you play gives you that respect.

"It's something I've always been looking for, and now that I have it I'm really enjoying it."

Romeu has made 65 appearances for Southampton since moving to St Mary’s in 2015, with 50 of those outings coming in the Premier League.