VfB Stuttgart midfielder Oriol Romeu will return to his parent club Chelsea at the end of the season, according to reports which suggest the Bundesliga club are no longer interested in extending his loan deal.
Romeu, 23, signed a new three-year contract at Stamford Bridge last summer but left the club on loan weeks later, his second consecutive spell away from the club.
After featuring in 16 of the club's first 17 games of the season, the Spaniard appeared to be thriving in Germany and admitted one more than one occasion he would be open to a permanent move to Stuttgart.
Romeu's pivotal role has since diminished, however, following the arrival of Ivorian midfielder Serey Die in January. According to Kicker, Stuttgart are no longer interested in securing his services for next season and suggest the Barcelona graduate will return to west London, where another loan move or a permanent exit will beckon.
Romeu himself admits he is unsure where his future lies. "I do not know what is coming in the summer," he was quoted as saying by the German magazine, before insisting he is currently focused on the remainder of Stuttgart's league campaign.
A return to Chelsea would demonstrate a significant U-turn for both Stuttgart and Romeu. In January, the club's president Bernd Wahler indicated talks with the midfielder's parent club were already underway. "He plays a central role, it is a great that we got him," Wahler said.
"Now you have to see if there is a way to keep him longer, plus there are talks with Chelsea."
Romeu was a near-ever present figure in Stuttgart's midfield during the opening four months of the season, completing 90 minutes in nine of the club's opening 12 games. But the dismissal of manager Armin Veh and the appointment of Huub Stevens gradually saw his fortunes change.
Since the resumption of the Bundesliga following the winter break, the Spaniard has completed 90 minutes on just three occasions and has been benched in the club's last seven games.
Romeu became Andre Villas-Boas' first signing as Chelsea manager back in 2011 but has made just 22 league appearances for the Blues to date.
He enjoyed a run in the team during Roberto di Matteo's spell in charge at the west London club but an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury in 2012 ruled him out for the rest of the 2012-13 campaign.
After making a full recovery, Romeu returned to Spain last season, joining Valencia on loan, where his impressive form encouraged Chelsea to tie the player down with a new contract, which runs until 2017.