Barcelona have reportedly identified Girona midfielder Oriol Romeu as an option to strengthen their midfield if they fail to sign Marcelo Brozovic.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Croatian star is set to leave Inter Milan this summer, with both Al-Nassr and Barcelona interested. Inter have reportedly agreed a fee of €23 million, which the Blaugrana are finding tough to meet.
Moreover, Brozovic would command a handsome salary, given his status at club and international level. The 30-year-old UEFA Champions League runner-up earns a net annual salary of €6 million at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Xavi Hernandez reportedly likes Brozovic’s profile and wants him in his midfield after Sergio Busquets’ exit and failure to sign Joshua Kimmich and Martin Zubimendi. However, he will have to operate with limited funds, considering Barca’s well-documented financial issues.
Hence, Romeu has emerged as a cheaper alternative. The 31-year-old came through Barcelona’s academy and left after seven years to join Chelsea in 2011 for €5 million.
Romeu spent four years on the Blues’ books, making just 33 senior appearances across competitions. He joined the Saints in 2015, with whom he spent seven years and featured in 256 games.
Romeu reportedly has a €10 million release clause in his contract. His deal with Girona expires in the summer of 2026, but they will be helpless if a suitor meets the Spaniard’s buyout clause.
Ilkay Gundogan could leave Barcelona before summer deadline
Ilkay Gundogan will join Barcelona from Manchester City on a free transfer next month.
The 32-year-old German superstar has agreed to leave the Cityzens after a trophy-laden seven years as he seeks new challenge in La Liga. However, there’s a possibility that he could join another team before the end of deadline day this summer.
According to the Athletic, his contract entails a clause where he can leave for free if he isn’t registered in Barca’s books by the time the transfer window closes. Barca could fail to register their new signings if they don’t free up enough space on their wage books.
Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba are some of the players who have been, directly or indirectly, pushed out of the team to free up the wage bill. Gundogan will also reportedly receive the entirety of his first year’s salary (€9 million after tax) upon signing.
Barca faced issues with La Liga when it came to registering Gavi’s new contract, but they found a way to ensure that he will their player for at least three more years and will don the No. 6 kit.