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Premier League

Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu may return to Barcelona


Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu could return to his homeland in 2013, according to his agent.

Romeu joined the Blues from Barcelona in the summer and has already forged a place as Andre Villas-Boas' preferred defensive midfielder ahead of John Obi Mikel.

The 20-year-old's future at Stamford Bridge has, however, already been questioned with reports claiming Barcelona have a buy-back option at the end of this season, as well as in the summer of 2013.

Chelsea have refuted that, stating only that Barca have first refusal if they were willing to sell - a scenario that looks increasingly unlikely as Romeu establishes himself.

And while the midfielder is keen to repay Chelsea's faith, their hopes of holding onto the player in the long-term could be jeopardised by his apparent desire to one day return to Barca.

"Will Romeu return? His dream before leaving was to be a Barcelona player and that still stands, but we cannot ignore the opportunity Chelsea have provided," his agent Javier Magico Diaz said.

"We'll have to see if it's appropriate for the club and the player (to return to Barca).

"We need to know if he'll keep developing at Chelsea and playing.

"Maybe it will be more convenient to stay for another year and then return in 2013."

Despite that Diaz said Romeu, who had been restricted to Barcelona's B team before his move to England, felt indebted to Chelsea for giving him his chance at the top level.

"Oriol has made a name for himself in the Premier League and is playing regularly," he added.

"We're committed to the club and we cannot leave them hanging."