Stamford Bridge welcomes Nou Camp starlet.
Chelsea have completed the signing of Oriol Romeu from Barcelona for £4.35million today.
The 19-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the Blues to become manager Andre Villas-Boas’ second summer signing.
The Spain U20 international will link up with his new team-mates once his age group’s World Cup campaign is over.
Reports from Catalonia say the deal could rise up to £8.7million depending on appearances and achievements.
Oriol began with Barcelona’s neighbours Espanyol before joining the famous Nou Camp academy in 2004, progressing through the ranks and was a regular in the reserves last year under Luis Enrique.
He made his La Liga debut for the senior side at the end of last season, coming on as a late substitute in a 0-0 draw against Deportivo La Coruna.
The deal signals the end of Villas-Boas’ long courtship of the player as he tried to sign midfielder while in charge of FC Porto.
The need for an enforcer in the heart of Chelsea’s play was highlighted after Michael Essien injured his knee ligaments in pre-season and could be out for up to six months.
Oriol’s agent, Magico Diaz, reportedly jetted out to Columbia this week to seal the deal, while the fee between the clubs was agreed 11 days ago.
“Chelsea is a great option for me,” Romeu said. “Leaving Barca hurts, but you have to take your chances.”
Speaking after the fee had been agreed, Villas-Boas said: “It is a part of the squad in which we are struggling with numbers because of Michael Essien’s injury and Oriol is a player with a bright future. He still has to evolve as a player.
“The Barcelona B team had a magnificent year in the Spanish second division, they finished third.
“Oriol had an injury during the season but he came back late on and was in time to play for the first team.
“So he is one of the most promising young players in that position.”