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Oriol Romeu begins preseason with Girona amid Barcelona interest

Xavi would want him present for the team’s preseason tour

Real Sociedad v Girona FC - LaLiga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Oriol Romeu has begun the preseason as a Girona player, despite strong rumors linking him to a return to Catalonia.

Xavi’s preference is said to be for his former teammate to join prior to FC Barcelona leaving for their US preseason tour.

Barcelona are hoping to pay less than his eight million euro release clause, but Girona are firm that they want the full amount. One option that has emerged is that the blaugrana would pay four million upfront, followed by four million in bonuses that would be easy to trigger.

Girona’s coach, Míchel Sánchez, did not comment on the Romeu situation. He only said, more generally, that “there are people who are not there, people who will come and people who will leave, but the heart of Girona is always there. You cannot lose that.”

Romeu is a graduate of Barcelona’s youth academy, and even debuted in the first team, although he played very little in that capacity before leaving in 2011.

He is considered the chosen alternative to replace the departing Sergio Busquets, although other names were higher on the list, which were discarded due primarily to cost issues.

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