'I wasn’t even able to negotiate' - Top-flight international opens up on failed Everton move
By John Reid
Barcelona centre-back Thomas Vermaelen has admitted that he wanted to join Everton in the summer, but was prevented from doing so by the Barcelona board.
Speaking to the told the Belgian newspaper DH, as reported in the Daily Star, Vermaelen, who has made only 22 appearances for the Catalan club since joining them from Arsenal in 2014, said, “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.”
Vermaelen was said to be one of previous manager Ronald Koeman’s top targets over the summer and has 64 caps for Belguim.
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With Everton currently in a relegation dogfight a player like Thomas Vermaelen would have been handy to have in the squad, particularly as he has experience of playing in the Premier League. His lack of playing time could well have been an issue however, as he’s played such little football in the last three years that it may well have taken him some time to get back up to speed with the fast and furious pace of English football. As Everton continue their search for a new manager, it will be interesting to see if the new man in charge pursues this move for Vermaelen.
In other Everton transfer news, the club are rumoured to be interested in signing a Leeds youngster