Xavi did not want new Barcelona signing, could be restricted to bench role: Reports 

Xavi didn
Xavi didn't want Oriol Romeu (not in pic) at Barcelona.

Oriol Romeu reportedly does not have the confidence of Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez.

Romeu is Barca's latest signing this summer and has returned to the Camp Nou after Girona agreed a €5 million move, but he wasn't their first choice in defensive midfield.

According to El Nacional, Xavi's first preference was getting Sergio Busquets to renew his contract. However, he left as a free agent to join Inter Miami and reunite with Lionel Messi.

The Spanish tactician then targeted a move for Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, but the 24-year-old did not want to leave. The focus then shifted to wantaway Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich.

However, the Blaugrana weren't able to meet the Bavarian club's demands to sell the Germany international. A move for Marcelo Brozovic was considered, too, but the Croatian star ended up joining Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr instead.

Romeu was reportedly the club's last option in the position. He isn't alien to the club's philosophy, having spent seven years in their academy before joining Chelsea in 2011.

However, Xavi apparently prefers Frenkie de Jong in the No. 6 role with Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi and Pedri vying for the other slots in midfield. Romeu (31) could, hence, be restricted to the bench.

The former Chelsea midfielder has penned a three-year deal with Barca and is the fourth transfer they have made this summer. They have signed Gundogan and Inigo Martinez on free transfers, while Vitor Roque will join in January.

Romeu recalls 'difficult situation' at Girona before agreeing Barcelona transfer

Girona signed Oriol Romeu just last summer from Southampton for €5.5 million. The Spaniard went on to have an impressive season, registering two goals in 34 games across competitions. Girona finished tenth in their first season after winning promotion in the 2021-22 campaign.

Girona understandably wanted to keep Romeu, but they understood his desire to join Barcelona. In a recent interview, he said (h/t BarcaUniversal):

"It was a difficult situation… Girona didn’t want me to leave, but they understood my position. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. The season we have had has been very good. I’m sure Girona will continue to grow, and personally, I’m eternally grateful."

Romeu made just two senior appearances for Barcelona during his first stint with the club. He will hope to improve those numbers by a considerable margin in the new season.

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