Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen has discussed a failed summer move to Premier League side Everton.
The former Arsenal man joined the Camp Nou side back in 2014 but lack of fitness, multiple injuries and poor form has restricted his chances with the Catalan club.
Having played out on loan with Italian side AS Roma last season, the Belgian international was told he could leave the club this summer.
However, a move never materialised with Premier League sides making tentative moves.
Everton, who brought in a number of players under the guidance of former boss Ronald Koeman – were the most interested, having submitted a bid.
However, Vermaelen has now opened up about why the move to Goodison Park never materialised.
“The board told me they needed four centre-backs,” he told Belgian publication DH. “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.”
Vermaelen has been included in the Barcelona side once this season, featuring on the bench in the Champions League clash with Greek side Olympiacos.
The former of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano has been excellent, making his chances slim under boss Ernesto Valverde.
Barcelona, who have started the season in good form, sit top of the La Liga standings having conceded just four goals all season.
Having entered the international break with a win over Sevilla thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer; they will now prepare to travel to Leganes on Saturday afternoon.