Wílmar Barrios could have replaced Idrissa Gueye at Everton, if Paris Saint-Germain had completed the Senegalese’s signing in January 2019.
The Ligue 1 winners wanted the former Aston Villa man at the start of the last year, but they had to wait for six more months before acquiring his services.
Having failed to land Gueye in the winter market of 2019, PSG ended up taking Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg. The Russian club filled the void by signing Barrios in the same window.
Prior to joining Zenit, Barrios revealed he’d held talks with the Merseyside club, yet Everton never stepped up their efforts to sign the South American.
“The idea was Everton, there had been talk. At Everton they had to sell the defensive midfielder, who was expected to go to PSG and he eventually left [in the summer of 2019]. I kept calm at that time, until the last day of the European market,” Barrios told ESPN, as quoted as saying by Gol Caracol.
“Felipe called me and told me that those at Zenit were advanced because they had sold Paredes to Paris.
“I spoke with Alfaro, he told me about the possibility that the contract would be closed and he told me to travel and if things did not happen, you would take a plane and return to Buenos Aires. I was having lunch. I was going to get on the bus and Felipe called me and told me that the transfer was closed.”
A move to Zenit has been a success for Barrios and he has been a regular figure in their starting XI this season. He has a contract with them until 2023.