13 November 2017
Former Arsenal defender, Thomas Vermaelen, has revealed he was forced to stay at Barcelona in the summer after confirming interest from Everton.
The Belgium international was a target for the Blues in the summer as then Everton boss Ronald Koeman looked to bolster his options at the back a left-sided centre-back.
But any advances from the Blues for the former Arsenal defender were rebuffed by Barcelona who were keen to avoid leaving themselves short of defensive cover.
Vermaelen told Belgian publication DH: “The board told me they needed four centre-backs. I didn’t have a choice but to stay. Clubs tried until the very last day, like Everton, but it was impossible. I wasn’t even able to negotiate.
“I’m not commenting anymore on my personal situation, the last time I did it, it turned against me.”
The defender has recently been linked with a January move to Everton, but it’s not clear whether the departure of Koeman will have an effect on any Blues interest, writes the Liverpool Echo.
Anderlecht are also said to be keen on bringing the 31-year-old back to Belgium, but Vermaelen has refused to comment on those claims.