Oriol Romeu has waved off the suggestion that he was close to leaving Southampton in the winter transfer window for Celta Vigo despite paper talk from Spain.
Speaking to The Southern Daily Echo, the 28-year-old midfielder voiced his intent on remaining with the Saints for the immediate future, as well as stating his desire to compete for a spot in the first-team despite recently dropping out of the starting XI (per Transfermarkt).
Romeu said about the rumours in January: “There were rumours but that was just talk. The club always told me that they want me here and I am more than happy to be here. I want to be competing for a spot in the team because I’m ready to go.”
Described by Breaking the Lines as Southampton’s midfield metronome, Romeu has somewhat fallen out of favour since the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl, with the Barcelona academy graduate starting just four times since the 9-0 defeat to Leicester City as the Saints completely turned their season around following the infamous result.
And with Mundo Deportivo reporting via Sport Witness in January that La Liga side Celta Vigo were keen on signing the Southampton midfielder, it appeared that Romeu was about to jump ship after losing his place in the first-team and only seeing a handful of minutes from the bench.
Romeu deciding to buckle down and fight for his spot in the Southampton first-team is an interesting tactic from the Catalan-born player given that Hasenhuttl seemingly favours a midfield pivot of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James-Ward Prowse (per Transfermarkt), but it could be an indication that the midfielder is willing to accept his role as a squad player.
The 28-year-old has still seen a decent amount of football this campaign (has played over 1000 minutes in the Premier League), and whilst he is no longer viewed as the first midfielder to go on the team sheet, Hasenhuttl has shown a level of trust in him to play him whenever a space is available in the centre of the park, which to Romeu seems appealing enough for him to remain at the club for the immediate future.
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