In an interview with Kicker, Chelsea loanee Oriol Romeu has said that he can imagine remaining at Stuttgart past the end of the current season.
Romeu, 23, joined the Bundesliga club on loan in August, having spent the previous campaign with Valencia in his native Spain.
The former Spain Under-21 international signed a new deal until 2017 in the summer but, while he is set to return to Stamford Bridge next season, wouldn’t be surprised if work is being done behind the scenes to prolong his Stuttgart spell, either with another loan or on a permanent basis.
"I do not know what Chelsea's plans are,” he said. “But I can already imagine.”
Joining Chelsea from Barcelona in August 2011 in a deal worth €5 million, Romeu’s last appearance for his parent club came in December 2012, when he was substituted in the 19th-minute of a 3-1 win at Sunderland with a knee problem.
The promising midfielder has made 16 appearances for Stuttgart this season and, while he once looked like developing into the Blues’ long-term answer in the holding role, the subsequent emergence of Nemanja Matic has put a dent in his hopes of establishing himself in Jose Mourinho’s side moving forward.
Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that Chelsea are still monitoring his progress during his loan stint, with coach Eddie Newton sending him short videos on his performances on a regular basis, according to Kicker.
If John Obi Mikel were to be moved on in the summer then there could well be a place for him in the squad upon his return, but the chances of the club cashing in on his signature seem more probable at this point in time.