Oriol Romeu claims he would snub a return to Barcelona in favour of regular football at Premier League relegation-threatened Southampton
The 26-year-old is a product of the famed La Masia academy system, having made a senior breakthrough in his native Catalunya.
He was, however, to make just two first-team appearances for Barca before moving to England to link up with Chelsea.
His efforts since then have taken him to Southampton and sparked talk of a potential second stint at Camp Nou, but Romeu insists he is happy at St Mary’s and unaware of any interest from afar.
Quizzed on the Barca rumours, which surfaced again during the summer transfer window of 2017, the combative midfielder said: “Nothing reached me.
“Yes, I heard some comment that they needed players there and various names were considered, but they never contacted me or my agent. They probably didn’t see me as an option.”
Romeu added on why he would snub Barca for the Saints: “To go to a big club to be in the second tier [of players], I don’t know if I would accept it.
“I don’t enjoy [it], what I want is to play. I don’t think that at Barca I could have been a starting player, it’s like that and you have to be aware of the options that one has.”
Romeu has made more than 100 appearances for Southampton over the course of three seasons.
He is at an age which suggests that he should be approaching his peak, so interest from Barcelona may be rekindled in future windows.
For now, though, a man who claimed FA Cup and Champions League winners’ medals with Chelsea is fully focused on helping the Saints to preserve their Premier League status, with Mauricio Pellegrino’s side currently sat inside the drop zone.