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Thomas Vermaelen wanted to leave, Barcelona said no

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According to the defender, he was a wanted man

Belgium v Czech Republic - International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen wasn’t subtle in an interview over the international break about his situation at Barcelona. Making it pretty clear that he would like some more playing time either at the club or elsewhere, and that the club wouldn’t let him leave during the summer.

"The club told me I couldn't leave, I had to stay despite the future of various clubs (Everton and Anderlecht in particular, according to the report)," he said.

"Now I am not playing, so I am in a difficult situation. I can't play with Barça B, where I could get some form because the Spanish legislation doesn't allow it. It's a regrettable situation."

"I understand the doubts because I'm not playing much for my club, but I don't feel I need to prove anything. I am happy to be here [with Belgium]. And what can happen in January is the future, things can change quickly, we will see."

"I've spoken with the manager [Ernesto Valverde], of course, and they're happy with how I am training. It's clear that in a club like Barcelona, three centre-backs is not enough, you need four or five. An injury or a suspension and I will be back in the squad. Things can quickly. For now, it's not great, but next week could be different."

"The World Cup and a possible move in January are problems for later. We will see. I have nothing to say. There's a clause in my contract for a transfer, even for a Premier League club."

Thomas Vermaelen | Sport via Derniere Heure

Vermaelen moved to Barcelona in 2014 and just two years later went to Roma on a one-year loan deal. He’s only made 11 La Liga appearances for Barcelona, not able to get consistent playing time.

Watching how this plays out will be fascinating but it seems odd Barcelona wouldn’t allow him to leave.

He isn’t making a consistent impact at the club, so grab some funds for him while he’s still be pursued by other clubs.