Lucas Moura had agreed to sign for Manchester United before Paris Saint-Germain made a late bid, according to his agent.
PSG confirmed this week that Lucas, 19, had become the club's latest acquisition and would make the switch from Sao Paulo in January, leading Sir Alex Ferguson to vent his frustration on Wednesday. "When somebody's paying €45 million for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game's gone mad," he said.
Agent Wagner Ribeiro has now confirmed that a transfer to Old Trafford had been all but certain before PSG sporting director Leonardo, a former Sao Paulo player, made contact.
"Everything was agreed between Sao Paulo and Manchester United," Ribeiro told UOL. "The contract had been written and just needed to be signed, but then Leonardo called me and asked to talk to Lucas.
"They talked. Leonardo was helped by the fact he is Brazilian. He was very gentle with Lucas. The possibility of living in Paris - a much more pleasant city than Manchester - also influenced his decision, but it was PSG's project that impressed Lucas."
Ribeiro said he had worked hard in order to secure his client's preferred move.
"I'm just a worker," he said. "I've not been able to sleep for five days here in Europe. I can't rest and I miss my son. What gives me the taste of victory is that I know Lucas is happy."