Barcelona and Aston Villa announce New Signings – FC Barcelona has added another important piece for their bid to retain the Spanish La Liga title next season. Barcelona president Joan Laporta officially introduced veteran midfielder Oriol Romeu on Friday during their training camp in Los Angeles, California. Romeu returns to Barca after stints with Girona, Chelsea, Valencia, Stuttgart and Southampton. The 31-year-old fills in the void Sergio Busquets left when he recently signed with Major League Soccer squad Inter Miami. The new contract allows Romeu to play for the Spanish giants till 2026.
He was once part of the team’s youth academy and left camp in 2011 partly because Busquets was making his mark as a midfielder. Busquets went on to become Spanish La Liga’s top midfielder until 2023 when he joined Lionel Messi to Miami. Romeu becomes Barcelona’s third new signing for next season after giving marquee stars German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and center-back Inigo Martinez new deals to play for the team. The latest development also shows how serious the Spanish giants are to retain the La Liga crown and return as one of the favorite choices in various online soccer picks around the world.
Barcelona and Aston Villa announce New Signings: Back to His Mother Club
In an interview, Romeu, who scored nine goals in stints with Chelsea, Valencia, Stuttgart, Southampton and Girona, said that it was an “intense dream” for him to return to his original club. For him, the opportunity comes at his best moment as he is in peak condition and ready to help the Catalan giants to gain back-to-back La Liga titles. Barca coach Xavi Hernandez held phone talks with Romeu and told him that he was his pick to take Busquets’ position.
Girona initially expressed reluctance to release Romeu until Barcelona paid the termination clause that reportedly cost USD3.4 million. Barca are currently on their United States tour and are set to play against Juventus, Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan between July 22 and August 1. The exhibition games are slated to be held in Santa Clara, California, Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Moussa Diaby to Boost Aston Villa Campaign in 2023-24 English Premier League Season
French winger Moussa Diaby will take his talents to Villa Park after he formally signed with Aston Villa. The 24-year-old Diaby becomes Villa’s third major signing of the summer following Youri Tielemans and Pau Torres. Aston Villa reportedly spent EUR60 million (USD67 million) to complete Diaby’s acquisition from Bayer Leverkusen. The 24-year-old came from Paris Saint-Germain’s football academy and in 2019 moved to Leverkusen. In 172 games with The Black and Reds, the Frenchman scored 49 goals. He had 10 caps with France but was not part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad.
Ola Aina signs with Nottingham Forest
Nigerian defender Ola Aina has signed with Nottingham Forest on a free transfer. Aina returns to the English Premier League after his spell in the Italian Serie A where he played for Torino for five seasons. The 26-year-old right back agreed to a one-year deal with Forest. The development came months after Aina helped Torino finish 10th in the 2022-23 season of Serie A. The London-born defender graduated from Chelsea’s youth academy and played three times for the Blues. While in Torino, he returned to London for a loan spell with Fulham in the 2020-21 season. Aina, who has 17 caps for Nigeria under his belt, was the first signing by Forest boss Steve Cooper.
He expressed excitement with the signing, saying that he wanted to go back to the English pitch and play for a team with a great manager like Cooper. In response, the Forest manager hailed Aina’s versatility and experience in England and Italy. He noted that the team will be stronger on defense with the new addition.
Lille acquires Samuel Umtiti
Lille has announced the acquisition of former World Cup winning defender Samuel Umtiti. The 29-year-old officially signed for a two-year contract with the Ligue 1 squad that finished fifth last season. Cameroon-born Umtiti returns to the country he helped win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In a statement, Lille president Olivier Letang was delighted with the signing, saying that he hopes the booter’s return to France would help the team move up the rankings in the 2023-24 season. Umtiti played for Lyon, Barcelona and Lecce before going to Lille and scored five goals. He will try to regain his old form and help his new squad perform well in the coming French league season. Experts who are monitoring the current soccer betting trends in France believe Umtiti’s addition to Lille will help the team contend for the Ligue 1 title and other local and European tournaments in the 2023-24 season.