Memphis Depay has cited 'certain rules' as the reason why he failed to earn a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Lyon were willing to allow the forward to swap Ligue 1 for La Liga, but while personal terms were agreed, a transfer could not be completed before deadline day, leaving the Dutchman to battle it out for another few months in France at least.
With less than a year left on his current deal, Lyon were happy to allow Depay to move to Spain if they could earn a fee they were content with. However, Barcelona needed to offload players before they signing others to work in tandem with their limited budget.
Ronald Koeman is a keen admirer of the 26-year-old, having worked with him during his spell in charge of the Netherlands national team, yet Depay has insisted he's turned his attention towards playing for Lyon and is not too disheartened by the situation.
"It was pretty close," Depay told NOS. "We don't need to go into all the details, but there were certain rules that prevented it unfortunately.
"But I believe everything happens for a reason. I now focus on Lyon and want to be important there again. We'll see how things are going again afterwards. If I do my thing, the interest may still be there. I just have to switch that switch now."
In the end, Koeman shifted a number of players from his squad before the window closed, but was only able to bring in USA international Sergiño Dest as a player to regularly challenge for a first team slot, while Miralem Pjanic was signed before his tenure started.
Adding Depay to his ranks at some point further down the line will be in his mind, having seen the forward have a hand in 79 goals in the 107 Ligue 1 games he has played since joining from Manchester United in 2017.