Chelsea have reached agreement with Barcelona to sign defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu.

Oriol Romeu

Manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed the news at a press conference in Bangkok, where Chelsea are on a pre-season tour.

Personal terms for the 19-year-old – who two first-team appearances for the Catalan club last season – have yet to be agreed.

Confirming the agreement, Villas-Boas said: “He is one of the most promising young players in that position.”

Romeu, currently with Spain ahead of the Under-20 World Cup, will also need to pass a medical to complete his move.

No details of the fee have been announced by the club, although some reports have suggested it is around the £4.5m mark.

Despite making his senior Barcelona debut last season, he was not part of manager Pep Guardiola’s long-term plans at the Nou Camp, having spent most of the campaign playing for their B team in the second division.

The European champions already have Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in their midfield.

The Ghana international, 28, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus during pre-season training.

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.

“Hopefully we can agree personal terms and hopefully he will pass a medical.”

The Blues have already agreed a deal to sign Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Racing Genk, who may be loaned out to Atletico Madrid once the deal is completed.

Villas-Boas added: “The Spanish League is an extremely competitive league and Atletico is a great club to be at but it is not decided yet on his future.

“It is still a couple of days until we can confirm agreement between all three parties.”