FC Barcelona were hopeful they could secure the signing of Matthijs de Ligt but, bar a late surprise, the centre back is expected to join PSG instead.
The deal has been moving along slowly in recent months but the role of his agent, Mino Raiola, has helped push de Ligt towards PSG. It would be easy to suggest the transfer was purely about money but there are other factors which make a move to France a more attractive prospect for the young centre back.
During negotiations, Barcelona made it clear de Ligt would have a similar status to his teammate Frenkie de Jong in the squad. That means a five-year deal and wages not too far off what de Jong is going to earn. His salary could increase every year as well as various bonuses being included based on his development and improvement.
However, PSG have learnt their lesson after missing out on de Jong. PSG have offered terms far and above what Barça proposed and that ticks the box for Raiola who wants the best deal for his clients. The super agent is set to pocket a decent commission for his work too.
Raiola was an important factor in negotiations and helped unsettle Barça's plans. He did everything he possibly could to tout his client out to every rich side in Europe. The lack of movement from Barça allowed him to find better offers for both him and his client.
During talks, de Ligt appeared happy to learn from - and challenge - Gerard Pique for a starting spot at Barça. No one at the club would guarantee he would be a permanent part of the first choice XI. If he wanted to play he would need to show why in training and whenever he was out on the pitch.
By contrast, PSG confirmed he would slot straight into their first XI. Thomas Tuchel wants to bring in younger players and, rather than work hard and earn his spot, de Ligt would prefer a guaranteed place in the senior squad.
One thing which has counted against Barcelona has been the improvement of de Ligt and, as such, this has increased the number of interested parties. Barça believed a deal was only a matter of time but due to Ajax's continued progress in the Champions League, it delayed any possible agreement. They knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus before losing to Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals.
De Ligt's higher profile was music to Raiola's ears as he knew that he could find more interested parties and, crucially, higher offers.