Barca youngster to become Chelsea’s second summer signing

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Chelsea have been fairly quiet in the summer window and it is another relatively unknown youngster that looks likely to be the second new face brought to Stamford Bridge by Andre Villas-Boas.

Villas-Boas has already brought in highly-touted young Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Genk on a five-year deal, although the 19-year-old is expected to be sent out on loan this season, potentially to Atletico Madrid.

Rumours are rife that Romelu Lukaku may be on his way to Stamford Bridge, while Daniele De Rossi could help to provide cover for the injured Michael Essien.

However, Villas-Boas first seems set to raid Barcelona and acquire one of their lesser known young talents.

Bojan, Thiago Alcantara and Jeffren have been the youngsters most linked with a move away from Barcelona this summer, as the Catalan club look to raise the funds necessary to sign both Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas.

Sanchez has already completed his move from Udinese for an initial £23m, while Fabregas is still confident he will move to the Nou Camp ahead of the August 31st transfer deadline.

And there should be no money issues surrounding the move if Barcelona sell Oriol Romeu to Chelsea, with sources in Catalonia suggesting that a £4.4m deal has already been agreed.

Romeu is a mainstay of the Spanish under-19 and under-20 teams and was handed his debut in the Barcelona first-team last season.

He can be described as a combative holding midfielder, who also has the typical Barcelona technical ability of being comfortable on the ball and a keenness to retain possession.

This aggression and willingness to win back possession could prove a useful asset to Chelsea, who have arguably been lacking this type of player since Claude Makelele.

Essien is often utilised in a more attacking midfield role, while John Obi Mikel may play in a deep position, but is not what is classed as a typical ball winner.

Chelsea are 5/2 in the Premier League odds to win the title this season and it would be no surprise to see Romeu play a bit-part role in this challenge.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.