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Barcelona defender reveals how close he came to joining Everton

Center back was prevented from joining Blues by Catalan club.

Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Once heavily rumored to be on the way to Goodison Park at the end of this summer’s transfer window, Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen has opened up on the reason behind his Everton switch falling through.

Vermaelen, 31, is long past his best, and was generally regarded as a “thanks, but no thanks” possible acquisition for the Blues. However, hindsight is 20-20, and with the horrendous form of Ashley Williams and injury to Phil Jagielka, even a slightly warmer than average body at the back could have been helpful for Ronald Koeman.

The Belgian had this to say in an interview with Sky Sports:

Barcelona always said they didn't want to let me go. All big clubs need at least four centre-backs.

They were happy with my pre-season and kept me.

Vermaelen is yet to make an appearance in La Liga this season, but technically remains Barca’s fourth center back behind Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, and Javier Mascherano.

While it doesn’t look like the target will again be the former Arsenal defender, expect Everton to go hard after a left-sided center back as soon as the January transfer window opens.