Charlotte - The stage appeared to be set Sunday for Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria to join Paris Saint Germain after spending just the one season at Old Trafford.
The future of unsettled Argentine star was thrown into further doubt after it emerged that he had failed to join up with the club's US tour as scheduled in California.
United manager Louis van Gaal told reporters after his side's 3-1 friendly victory over Barcelona that Di Maria had failed to board a flight to San Francisco.
"I have heard that he's not on the plane so I cannot say anything," Van Gaal said. "I have heard that he was not on the plane," he reiterated.
Di Maria had been excused from the first part of United's tour after playing in the Copa America.
Shortly afterwards, PSG manager Laurent Blanc said in Charlotte, North Carolina where the French champions lost on penalties to Chelsea, that transfer talks were well underway.
"It's a very long, drawn-out affair," Blanc said. "Two big clubs are having talks. Let's just wait for the moment and we will see the outcome very shortly.
"For the moment, he (Di Maria) is down to play for Manchester against PSG on Wednesday. For the moment, that is. I repeat that rumour has it that this player has every possibility to join Paris Saint Germain, but ... at this moment in time nothing is official."
Di Maria joined United last year in a 59.7 million pound ($92.6 million) British record transfer from Real Madrid but has failed to settle during a difficult first season with the Premier League giants.
L'Equipe newspaper on Sunday reported that a deal to bring Di Maria to Paris was imminent and that the transfer fee would be around 63million euros ($69million, 45million) .
"There are some details that still need to be worked out between the club and the player, but there is every chance that he will join up with his future teammates in New Jersey in the coming days or even hours," the paper said.
Di Maria would be PSG's big transfer move of the summer as they look to convert their domination of the domestic scene in France onto the European stage with a first-ever victory in the Champions League.
Since the Qatar Sports Investments took over the running and financing of the club four years ago, a top player has been added to the squad each summer - Javier Pastore (43million euros) in 2011, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva (more than 60million euros) in 2012, Edinson Cavani (64million euros) in 2013 and David Luiz (50 million euros) in 2014.)
Di Maria would be the latest addition to the glittering array of international talent on show at the Parc des Princes.