Bienvenido! Spanish compatriot Romeu would welcome Villa's arrival at the Bridge
20:24 GMT, 27 December 2012
20:24 GMT, 27 December 2012
Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu would welcome the signing of David Villa with open arms if the prolific Spain international ends up moving to Stamford Bridge during the transfer window.
Chelsea have been closely linked with a move for the 31-year-old striker, who has been in and out of the Barcelona starting line-up this season since returning from his long injury lay-off after breaking his leg.
Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said earlier this week the Nou Camp outfit had no intention of letting Villa leave in January.
Target: Chelsea want Fernando Torres's compatriot David Villa to move from Barcelona on loan
But Romeu would be delighted if his fellow Spaniard did make the switch to Chelsea.
'I don't know that Villa's situation is, but if a great player like him comes, the record goalscorer with the national team, he would be welcomed and we would be happy,' said Romeu, quoted as telling Spanish radio show Esports Cope.
The Spanish midfielder underwent surgery on a serious knee injury earlier this month after starting four out of Rafa Benitez's first five games as manager of Chelsea.
Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta hopes Villa stays put, telling reporters today: 'I don't know if there's a chance (he could leave), I don't think so, although for me personally I wouldn't like it if he did, because Villa is a vital player.'
As reported in the Mail yesterday, Villa provides an attractive short-term solution for Chelsea.
The striker is Spain's record goalscorer with 53 international goals in 85 caps but does not fit the Barca ideal for young players with their best years ahead of him.
Torres and Villa formed a formidable partnership at International level but VIlla has only scored five goals in 18 appearances this season and is falling from favour.
Villa is understood to earn 110,000 a week, which is near the top of the Stamford Bridge pay structure but not out of reach.
He can operate at centre forward if
Torres is unavailable or play from wide either side, giving Benitez a
valuable option in his quest to rotate his support strikers and keep
With Daniel Sturridge on the move to Liverpool and Romelu Lukaku preferring to stay at West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea are without a recognised striker beyond Torres, and both Eden Hazard and Victor Moses have been tried in the role with little effect.
Transfer talk: Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu would be delighted if Barca striker David Villa arrived at Stamford Bridge
Dovetail Chelsea are looking for Villa to either merge with Spanish team mate Fernado Torres (right) or to provide cover for the striker as Daniel Sturridge may be on his way to Liverpool