Romeu rumour firming up as Southampton star closes in on £9m move to Spain


Celta Vigo are reportedly 'very close' to signing Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu, initially on loan with a purchase option for £9million.

Romeu is wanted back in Spain by Celta, who are in a major relegation battle as they sit 17th in the La Liga table and are level on points with Real Mallorca just below them.

The Galician club are battling Espanyol for the signature of Real Betis’ Cristian Tello although talks to sign Romeu are understood to be far more advanced.

Two days ago, Faro de Vigo reported that Celta were keen on another Southampton player, having signed winger Sofiane Boufal and defender Wesley Hoedt on loan from Saints last season.

And it was also claimed by that newspaper that Celta could try for Boufal again in the January transfer window – presumably if the bid for Tello breaks down.

The former Chelsea, Valencia and Stuttgart midfielder, who came through the Barcelona academy, signed for Southampton in 2015 and has largely been an automatic choice when fit.

He has featured in 22 games in all competitions for Saints and been involved in 1,486 minutes of play, but hasn’t featured in the Premier League since November.

He did, however, play the full 90 minutes in Saints’ 2-0 FA Cup third-round win at home to Huddersfield earlier this month.

Ralph Hasenhuttl has preferred Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse as his central options, so could be open to letting Romeu go at the right price.

According to AS on Saturday, the fee would be just under £9million although Celta want Romeu on loan for the rest of the season and will only commit to that if they win their battle against the drop.

There are no updates on the rumour linking Boufal to Celta again, with the Frenchman joining Romeu on the bench for Southampton’s home Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The 26-year-old has started in only one Premier League match since September although he has spent time out with an injury.