Lucas Moura has confirmed he is likely to join Paris St Germain to dash Manchester United's hopes of signing the Brazilian teenager.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed his interest in landing the midfielder last month and he missed Sunday's friendly against Valerenga in order to try to push through a deal.
The Red Devils had appeared close to agreeing a fee with Sao Paulo for the 19-year-old, but big-spending PSG have now gazumped the Premier League club.
Reports had also suggested that United were unwilling to meet the demands of Moura's agent and that the player had been put off a move to Manchester.
Moura has now admitted that talks are underway with PSG and he is expected to leave Sao Paulo in January in order to link up with compatriots Thiago Silva and Leonardo, who is the French club's sporting director.
"This is a good thing," Moura told Folha after Brazil's Olympic Games semi-final win over South Korea. "I'll stay at Sao Paulo until the end of the year. Things are well underway."
He added to Globo Esporte: "No doubt that would be better because I can help Sao Paulo a bit more. I have always said that I want to win a title before leaving and qualify the team for the Libertadores Cup.
"If it happens in January, I'll be able to do that for Sao Paulo.
"I'm focused on the national team. I can only say something after the Olympics. It's well underway, but not done.
"I talked to Thiago Silva and Leonardo, they said many good things about the club, the project they are implementing there."