Vermaelen has struggled for game time at Camp Nou since leaving Arsenal in 2014, but the Belgian international was linked with a switch to either Everton or West Bromwich Albion during the previous transfer window.
However, Vermaelen - who has a contract with Barca until 2019 - has revealed that it was "impossible" to secure an exit from the Catalan giants.
The 31-year-old told 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."
Vermaelen has featured for Barcelona on just one occasion this season, which came against Murcia in the Copa del Rey.