Southampton F.C. have completed the signing of midfielder Oriol Romeu from Chelsea for a fee believed to be in the region of £5 million.
Romeu becomes the Saints’ seventh summer recruit following the arrivals of Cédric Soares (Sporting CP), Cuco Martina (FC Twente), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Juanmi (Málaga), Maarten Stekelenburg (on loan from Fulham) and Steven Caulker (on loan from Queens Park Rangers).
The former Spain Under-21 international, who joined Chelsea from Barcelona for €5 million in the summer of 2011, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at St Mary’s.
“It’s very good to be a part of this club,” Romeu said.
“I was looking for a good club and for something new in my career. After spending two years on loan, I needed something permanent and a club with a future – and I think I chose the right one.
“Southampton are doing the right things in the last few years and, once they came to me and asked me to come here, from the first day I was hoping to come.
“Now I just want to keep going and to keep developing as a player, and I’m looking forward to start playing as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Southampton Executive Director of Football Les Reed is hoping Romeu will revel in the same success as Ryan Bertrand, who has impressed since swapping Stamford Bridge for St Mary’s last summer.
“We are extremely happy to be able to bring Oriol to the club on a permanent basis,” added Reed.
“Once again, we are demonstrating our commitment to compete seriously on all fronts this season by continuing to build a squad with depth and quality.
“Oriol is a player we have had on the radar for some time – he was a prominent figure in the Chelsea team of 2011/12, when he made 24 appearances as a 20 year-old.
“Like Ryan Bertrand, we believe we have recruited another Chelsea player with an excellent pedigree but also with lots of potential to develop.
“He is another player who matches the Southampton profile – he is young and hungry, has been developed at a top academy and has already played at the highest level with plenty more to come.
“He will complement the qualities we already have among our squad and provide another level of competition for selection.”
Romeu, 23, spent last season on loan at VfB Stuttgart, where he started 27 league matches for the Bundesliga’s 14th-place finishers.
The 23-year-old will likely be Ronald Koeman’s third choice central midfielder behind Jordy Clasie and Victor Wanyama.