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Rumor: Barcelona Target Southampton’s Oriol Romeu and Cédric Soares

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A former academy midfielder and a Portuguese fullback

Southampton v Liverpool - EFL Cup Semi-Final: First Leg Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Daily Express says former FC Barcelona midfielder Oriol Romeu could be in for a return to the Camp Nou after impressing with Southampton this season.

The report also mentions an article from The Sun that says another Southampton player, Cédric Soares, could be poised to move alongside Romeu to Barcelona.

While The Sun is not something many people consider reliable, it should be noted that the Cédric Soares-Barcelona rumor has been repeated often over the past few months by other news outlets.

The Romeu link, however, is new.

He’s a defensive midfielder who came through La Masia and played a total of 2 games for the senior team before moving to Chelsea. He failed to establish himself in London, leading to loans to Valencia CF and VfB Stuttgart before being sold to the Saints.

Now, not only is he an established member of the starting XI, he’s one of the standout players. Would this motivate a club like Barcelona to move for him?

Despite the fact Romeu was sold such a long time ago, he’s still quite young: only 25.

But Barça currently have a lot of choices in midfield, with a couple on loan and others with buyback clauses. In particular, Sergi Samper is on loan and perhaps, purchasing Romeu would mean letting Samper go permanently.

This could all be conditioned by who replaces Luis Enrique next season, and here we might find the crux of it: Ronald Koeman is being talked about as a potential successor, and he used to be the Southampton coach.

But even then, we have to assume (1) Koeman gets the job and (2) he actually prefers Romeu to other possibilities, and I find both to be unlikely possibilities.